21 February, 2013


Muhal Richard Abrams - Levels And Degrees Of Light (1967)

Muhal Richard Abrams - Levels And Degrees Of Light (1967)
jazz, | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 250MB
Levels and Degrees of Light was the first recording under Muhal Richard Abrams' name and was a landmark album that launched the first in a long line of beautiful, musical salvos from the AACM toward the mainstream jazz world. The title track finds Abrams broadly tracing out some of the territory he would continue to explore in succeeding decades, an ethereal, mystic quality (evinced by Penelope Taylor's otherworldly vocalizing and Gordon Emmanuel's shimmering vibes) balanced by a harsh and earthy bluesiness set forth by the leader's piercing clarinet. "The Bird Song" begins with a fine, dark poetry recitation by David Moore (oh! for the days when one didn't approach a poem on a jazz album with great trepidation) before evanescing into a whirlwind of percussion, bird whistles, and violin (the latter by Leroy Jenkins in one of his first recorded appearances). When the band enters at full strength with Anthony Braxton (in his first recording session), the effect is explosive and liberating, as though Abrams' band had stood on the shoulders of Coltrane, Coleman, and Taylor and taken a massive, daring leap into the future. It's a historic performance. The final track offers several unaccompanied solo opportunities, spotlighting Abrams' sumptuous piano and the under-recognized bass abilities of Charles Clark. This is a milestone recording and belongs in the collection of any modern jazz fan.

-1. "Levels and Degrees of Light" - 10:33
-2. "The Bird Song" (Abrams, David Moore) - 23:00
-3. "My Thoughts Are My Future - Now and Forever" - 9:43

* Muhal Richard Abrams: piano, clarinet
* Anthony Braxton: alto saxophone
* Maurice McIntyre: tenor saxophone
* Leroy Jenkins: violin
* Gordon Emmanuel: vibraphone
* Charles Clark: bass
* Leonard Jones: bass
* Thurman Barker: drums
* Penelope Taylor: vocals
* David Moore: poet (track 2)


Maria Farantouri - 17 Songs (1990)

Maria Farantouri - 17 Songs (1990)
world, traditional | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 390MB
Tropical 68950
Amazon customer:
I must say that this is the only Farantouri album ( and I have them all) that has been a big dissapointment. For some reason her glorious voice desterted her when she recorded 17 songs. There is no power here and she sounds breathless. And then there are the arrangements of the songs that are less then exceptional. There are so many other albums by this greatest of (greek) singers that you could buy. Everything she recorded with Theodorakis for example. Buy Mauthausen and hear these incredible songs with a 16 year old girl that has a voice that moves to tears time and again. Buy her interpretation of the Lorca songs with guitarist John Williams or Canto General by Pablo Neruda that show Farantouri in her prime. Buy the latest albums Poetica, Asmata or Serenades where Farantouri reemerges with old conviction and power and with new maturity. Or try to find I megali Agripnia, an album from the seventies by Eleni Karaïndrou, wonderful songs and exeptionally sung by Farantouri. In short; buy anything else before you buy 17 songs

-01. "Caruso" feat D. Savopoulos - (Lucio Dalla)
-02. "San Vicente" - (Milton Nascimento - Fernando Brant)
-03. "Adio Querida" - (Trad. Sefardi Span. / Hebräisch v. 1492)
-04. "Filho" - (Milton Nascimento / Fernando Brant)
-05. "Once Upon A Summertime" - (Michel Legrand - J. Mercer)
-06. "Solo Le Pido A Dios" - (Leon Gieco)
-07. "Sol Negro" feat Mercedes Sosa - (Caetano Veloso)
-08. "Tora Xero" (Jetzt weiß ich) - (Vangelis Papathanassiou - Michails Bourboulis)
-09. "La Canzone Del Mal Di Luna -(Nicola Piovani)
-10. "Youkali" - (Kurt Weil - Roger Fernay)
-11. "I Kikni (Die Schwäne) - (Manos Katzidakis)
-12. "Wenn Ich Mir Was Wünschen Dürfte - (Fr. Holländer)
-13. "Nanourisma" Mercedes Sosa - (Manos Katzidakis - N. Gastos)
-14. "San Elektra" (Wie Elektra) - (Vangelis Papathanassiou - M.Bourboulis)
-15. "Sarracini" - (Trad. Lied aus Kampania / Napoli)
-16. "Esta Montana" - (Trad. Sefardi-Lied Span. / Hebräisch v. 1492)
-17. "Odi A (Ode A) - (Vangelis Papathanassiou - M.Bourboulis)
Total playing time: 65:18

In the 17 Songs arranged for her by the Cuban composer Leo Brouwer with guest appearance of Mercedes Sosa, she interpreted C.Veloso, M.Nascimento, M.Legrand, N.Piovani and Kurt Weill.


Ellery Eskelin - Vanishing Point (2001)

Ellery Eskelin - Vanishing Point (2001)
jazz, | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 270MB
hatOLOGY 577
Does Ellery Eskelin ever lead a group with less than outstanding results? This is his sixth recording for a series of limited-edition CDs produced by the adventurous Swiss label hatOLOGY, and like its predecessors, it is a winner all the way. Eskelin knows what he wants, and for that reason his efforts as a leader are highly focused. For this one, he invited a vibraphonist and three leading string players known for their facility with free improvisation. The eight tracks were freely improvised without any rehearsals or preconceptions. This is risky business, to be sure, but with the likes of Eskelin, violist Mat Maneri, cellist Erik Friedlander, and bassist Mark Dresser, all of whom are well-known for their remarkable skills as soloists, the results are entirely successful. There is an intense lyricism produced that belies the common conception of free improvisation. The strings and vibes stand on their own, with the saxophonist's exquisite tone drawing, blending, and contrasting its timbre. Each piece somehow sounds composed and explores something slightly different, drawing the listener deeply into an array of mysterious sounds. There is a chamber-like quality to much of it, though Eskelin and his colleagues are much too experienced and savvy to let what they do be pigeonholed. Longtime fans of the saxophonist will not be disappointed; for those who are unfamiliar with this great player, this might be a fine introduction to his highly creative work.

-1. "Scatter Brain" - Ellery Eskelin - 5:44
-2. "Horizon Blue" - Ellery Eskelin - 10:29
-3. "Terra Firma" - Ellery Eskelin - 5:16
-4. "Inquiétante Familiarité" - Ellery Eskelin - 6:33
-5. "Transient" - Ellery Eskelin - 5:16
-6. "Still Life" - Ellery Eskelin - 4:04
-7. "Signal Drift" - Ellery Eskelin - 5:54
-8. "Paradigm" - Ellery Eskelin - 7:49

* Ellery Eskelin: tenor saxophone
* Mat Maneri: viola
* Erik Friedlander: cello
* Mark Dresser: bass
* Matt Moran: vibraphone


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