Category Archives: Jazz

THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF SEA LEVEL.

The Life and Music Of Sea Level. By August 1975, all wasn’t well within The Allman Brothers. It hadn’t been for the last couple of years. That was despite The Allman Brothers being at the peak of their popularity. Their last three albums had sold over a million copies and were certified platinum. Meanwhile, The Allman …

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HEDVIG MOLLESTAD TRIO-SMELLS FUNNY.

Hedvig Mollestad Trio-Smells Funny. Label: Rune Grammofon. Ever since the Hedvig Mollestad Trio was founded in 2009, this inimitable group has been pushing musical boundaries and creating inventive and innovative genre-melting music. That is the case on their latest album Smells Funny, which was released by Rune Grammofon. It’s the sixth album since the Hedvig …

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THE LIFE AND TIMES OF RADKA TONEFF.

The Life and Times Of Radka Toneff,  One of the most overused word in tRadka Tonefhe English language is classic, with critics often hailing the latest book, play or album a “classic.” More often than not, this is hyperbole, and it’s only much later, that the same critics realise that they were rather fulsome in their praise …

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LIGHTHOUSE-THE RISE OF LIGHTHOUSE 1969-1974.

Lighthouse-The Rise Of Lighthouse-1969 1974. In 1968, Skip Prokop the former drummer and vocalist with the Canadian psychedelic rock band The Paupers, met Brooklyn born keyboardist Paul Hoffert in a New York nightclub. The men bonded over their mutual love of music. However, when they parted company at the end of the evening, they never …

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THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUDY HENSKE.

The Life and Times Of Judy Henske. It was in 1962, when Judy Henske was living in Los Angeles, that the Queen of the Beatniks first came to the attention of Elektra Records’ founder Jac Holzman. He had just setup A&R and marketing operation in LA and was on looking for new artists to add …

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THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MUSICAL MAVERICK HOLGER CZUKAY.

The Life and Times Of Musical Maverick Holger Czukay. Although the word innovator is one of the most overused words in the English language nowadays, it perfectly describes  Holger Czukay who cofounded Can in 1968. This was the start of a near fifty year career where Holger Czukay continued to make groundbreaking music, and push musical boundaries to their limits, and sometimes way …

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ERIC GALE-9 IN 10, THE SOLO YEARS 1973-1983.

Eric Gale-9 In 10, The Solo Years 1973-1983 Jazz guitarist Eric Gale was born in Brooklyn, New York on September the ‘20th’ 1938, and by the time he was eleven, had already discovered music. Fittingly, it was guitarist Les Paul that piqued Eric Gale’s interest in music. When he heard Les Paul and his wife Mary Ford …

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L.A. EXPRESS: TOM SCOTT’S SHORT-LIVED JAZZ SUPERGROUP.

L.A. Express: Tom Scott’s Short-Lived Supergroup. Musical history is littered with artists and groups that never enjoyed the commercial success that their music deserved. That was the case with L.A. Express an oft-0verlooked fusion supergroup who released a quartet of albums between 1973 and 1976. Sadly, these albums never found the audience they deserved and it was only later, that L.A. Express’ music started to be appreciated by jazz …

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THE LIFE AND CAREER OF CHI COLTRANE.

The Life and Career Of Chi Coltrane. The word prodigy is an overused word, but that is the only way to describe Chi Coltrane who could play eight different instruments by the time she was twelve. What makes this all the more remarkable is that Chi Coltrane had absolutely no formal musical training. Instead, her …

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THE STORY OF THOS. RAPP AND PEARLS BEFORE SWINE.

The Story Of Thos. Rapp and Pearls Before Swine. When Pearls Before Swine  released their fifth album City Of Gold in April 1969. it was the first  album credited to Tom Rapp and Pearls Before Swine. This seemed only fair, as Tom Rapp was the only original member of Pearls Before Swine left. The rest of the …

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SUE BARKER-AUSTRALIA’S BEST KEPT MUSIAL SECRET-WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN.

Sue Barker-Australia’s Best Kept Musical Secret-What Might Have Been. Forty-two years ago, in 1977, Adelaide-based singer Sue Barker released what’s without doubt, one of the greatest soul-jazz albums in the history of Australian music. That album was Sue Barker, which was released on Marcus Herman’s label Crest International. The release of Sue Barker should’ve been …

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GIL SCOTT-HERON-AMERICA’S SOCIAL CONSCIENCE: 1970-1980.

Gil Scott-Heron-America’s Social Conscience: 1970-1980. After releasing a trio of studio albums on Bob Thiele’s Flying Dutchman Productions between 1970 and 1972, Gil Scott-Heron signed to Charles Tolliver and Stanley Cowell’s Strata-East Records. By then, Gil Scott-Heron was well on his way to becoming America’s social conscience. Gil Scott-Heron was a poet, musician, and author …

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MELVIN SPARKS-FIVE FRUITFUL YEARS 1970-1975.

Melvin Sparks-Five Fruitful Years 1970-1975. Although American jazz and blues guitarist Melvin Sparks enjoyed a career that spanned five decades, the most fruitful period of his career was the seventies, when he released five albums between 1970 and 1975. Melvin Sparks’ career began at Prestige Records, where he released a triumvirate of albums between 1970 …

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CYMBELINE-SWEDEN’S LOST GROUP.

Cymbeline-Sweden’s Lost Group. Nowadays, Norway and Sweden both have vibrant and thriving music scenes, where pioneering musicians record and release some of the most ambitious, important and innovative music that is currently being released in Europe. This is nothing new, and both countries have a long and illustrious musical history stretching back to the early …

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THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CAN.

The Life and Times Of Can. Having released eleven albums in eleven years, Can called time on their career in 1979. By then, Can were rightly regarded by critics as one of the most important, influential and innovative bands of the Krautrock era. However, like many of the Krautrock bands, Can hadn’t enjoyed the commercial …

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THE INIMITABLE SUN RA, INNOVATOR AND MUSICAL PIONEER.

The Inimitable Sun Ra, Innovator and Musical Pioneer. Nowadays, music journalists are guilty of using the words innovator and musical pioneer all too freely, but that is the perfect description of the inimitable Sun Ra. He’s now regarded as one of the true pioneers of free jazz and a truly innovative and influential musician who pushed musical …

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NAT BIRCHALL-COSMIC LANGUAGE-VINYL

Nat Birchall-Cosmic Language-Vinyl. Label: Jazzman Records.  Manchester-based jazz saxophonist Nat Birchall has come a long way since releasing his debut album The Sixth Sense in January 1999, and nowadays, is regarded as one of the leading lights of the vibrant British jazz scene. Nat Birchall is also one of the most talented and inventive British …

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A NEW LIFE VOLUME II-VINYL.

A New Life Volume II-Vinyl. Label: Jazzman Records Three years ago in 2015, Jazzman Records released A New Life, their critically acclaimed compilation of British jazz. This is no ordinary jazz compilation though. Instead, A New Life featured tracks from private pressings and hidden gems released by independent labels. So successful was A New Life …

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ABSTRACT ORCHESTRA-MADVILLAIN VOLUME 1-VINYL.

Abstract Orchestra-Madvillain Volume 1-Vinyl. Label: ATA. On the ‘30th’ of June 2017, the Abstract Orchestra, who are led by saxophonist Rob Mitchell, released their debut album Dilla to plaudits and praise. Buoyed the response to Dilla, the Abstract Orchestra headed out on a lengthy tour of Britain where the all-star hip hop band’s music found …

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ALAN HAWKSHAW AND BRIAN BENNETT-SYNTHESIS.

Alan Hawkshaw and Brian Bennett-Synthesis. Label: Be With Records.   During the last few years, many record labels have issued compilations of library music, which has been growing in popularity. The rise and rise in popularity of library music continued during 2018, and hardly a week seemed to go by without a new  library music …

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