Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Humber College Jazz Ensemble On the Way to Montreux, also from 1977

On this record they are thankfully far more adventurous compared to the previous grab bag of old and stale standards.  In fact if you compare the opening track Basin Street Blues here and formerly you'll see they venture into some pretty funky territory this time out or second take.  The best track occurs in the middle of the second side with a composition by one Jaxon Stock called Jacob's Tailor, & here it is:

Check out the clear classical European education here from the composer, who doesn't appear anywhere elsewhere,  with an initial woodwinds Debussy influence, progressing with the polytonal chord patterns into a Stravinsky score.  And listen to the phenomenal ending that modulates into D, with the bass tuba playing the bottom note.  Really, really, stunning, coming from something so unknown...

More college band music to come soon.

Monday, 28 March 2016

The Humber College Jazz Ensemble in 1977's First Take

From wiki:

Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning is a polytechnic college in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

This record is squarely in the big band tradition, unfortunately, with very little of the progressive spirit that was such a part of the seventies.  Given that we are dealing with students here, not so surprising, though Northern Illinois University was pretty fusionary as we saw earlier.

I'll go with Are You Ready (a Ted Pease composition) as the most listenable track here:

Their next album, however, was really good, coming Wednesday.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Marx, Rootschilt, Tillermann & Amby in the lost Spielgefährten from 1983


I earlier posted one of their albums, their best actually, with the huge mega-hit Colder Winds.  Today's is the only one I didn't already have and I was curious about it due to the addition of Amby, who made such a progressive appearance on the Saar compilation.  In any case, I reposted all the albums in question at that time (links still active, I checked).  Today in 1983, recorded in 1982, it seems Amby has lost the crazy progressive spirit...

I will present to you the best composition as an assessment of the overall quality of the whole, which by my estimation is Tillermann's Thalia which you will find in the A7 position:

As always, the harmony vocals are done to perfection throughout.  I understand they are still performing to this day in Germany.

After today I'm going to move away from the endless library record tedium into something totally different, the college jazz bands.  In these records there is always some novelty and interesting twist owing to the youth and energy of these outfits combined with the experience of the leaders.  (In this vein I earlier posted the Northern Illinois Jazz Ensemble.)  For a change.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Piero Umiliani (Moggi) in News! News! News! from 1979 [Sound Work Shop ‎SWS 124]

Another home run from my library collector friend...  wow.

Naturally you can expect some mastery from this particular composer.  Quite a few LPs were released with the odd alias Moggi, many many more under the real name.  Information in the database here.  Some notes from the biography:

Born in July 17, 1926 in Firenze (Florence), Italy.  Died in February 14, 2001 in Roma (Rome), Italy [i.e. aged 75].

Piero Umiliani was an Italian composer of film scores, most famous for his song "Mah Nà Mah Nà" of 1968, that was originally used for a Mondo documentary about Sweden (Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso) and became world-famous in 1977 when performed for The Muppet Show. The song was also an anthem of the Benny Hill show [loved that show!  classic!].  Like many of his Italian colleagues at that time, he composed the scores for many exploitation films in the 1960s and 1970s, covering genres such as spaghetti western, Eurospy, Giallo, and soft sex films. Although not as widely regarded as, for example, Ennio Morricone or Riz Ortolani, he helped form the style of the typical European '60s/'70s jazz-influenced film soundtrack that later experienced a revival in films like Kill Bill and Ocean's Twelve.

In 1959, charged by great Mario Monicelli to compose the OST of ‘I Soliti Ignoti’ (Big Deal on Madonna Street) OST, he gains international recognition.  The score featured Chet Baker on trumpet and it was the first experiment ever of Jazz Music on an Italian comedy movie.  In 1961, he writes the music for ‘Smog’ OST were again he featured Chet Baker artistry along with Helen Merrill shaping a masterpiece in Jazz OST history.  Il 1970, the Master opened Liuto Edizioni Musicali, his own publishing company and Sound Work Shop recording studio... [etc.]

I'll draw your attention to the Mahavishnu-fusionary chromatic minor seconds prevalent in the track called Inchiesta:

Or rather, Le Orme seems to be the influence here.  How stunning it is that this habitually orchestral film composer shows us such mastery in the progressive arena!  Do we all at least now agree that in some of these library records, the music absolutely shocks us with its quality-- particularly in the golden era of the mid-seventies?

While I apologize to all out there for the poor quality of the rip [mono?], I profusely thank the original ripper for his generosity in making this available to all to hear.  Again, not a cheap record, averaging about 150 euros.

At least now you can purchase it with the sure knowledge it's worth every centime of that price...

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Jarmo Savolainen from 1985

Two mini masterpieces of Finnish fusion in the ECM style are coming up on deck early this first week of spring for our equinoctial days, like the first sunlight's warmth coming through after a half-year's night over frozen tundra plains.  The little ballad called Lopuksi is, notwithstanding the slight background scratchy noises distracting, just a brilliant little poem of tenderness and emotion like something clearly out of Finnforest in its masterful heyday:

Or perhaps it's Jasper Van't Hof in style who is being channelled here?  Listen to that musical Aurora Borealis!

At the very start of the record you'll instead remark on the similarity to Joachim Kühn with the held-back tempo of cascading, waterfall piano improvisations.  However, the arrangements, with soprano sax and muted trumpets complemented by synthesizer, will get those chills running up and down your back like mice up and down the grandfather clock once they get started, pummelling the gorgeously-wrought chords written out by this masterful arranger, shifting and sparkling like that aurora in the green night sky.  This is absolute coolness with that pure 60s Hancock even-handed intellectual crispness (cf. Speak Like a Child)...  Even the track called Blues at A2 is not that at all, instead, it's a postmodern rendition of a self-referencing encyclopediac fact-finding postgraduate thesis in composition brought to bear on that simplistic & tedious flat style of flat notes and southern drawling.  You won't believe your ears.  That something so unknown could be so good.  More information can be found here.  In fact, how about a quick bio from discogs:

Jarmo Savolainen (born May 24, 1961 in Iisalmi, Finland) was a Finnish jazz pianist, keyboardist and composer. He studied classical piano in Finland and played in local bands, but then continued his studies at the Berkeley College of Music in Boston. 

Of course he studied classical music, you can hear the depth in education throughout this work.  As well you'll note this is the first of four releases in the eighties documented here.  Could the later ones be as good as this one?  I don't know, once we pass that huge fault line of 1985 it seems the progressiveness of the music falls off a cliff into the depths of the earth, doesn't it?  Let's hope that prog crustal rock gets recycled in the mantle to rise up and get built into continental plates in the future again...

Thanks to the Finnish Connection for these shares!  I love you for bringing this sort of sheer beauty into my life-- and I love this composer for having created it....

Enjoy it...

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Missing April Orchestra: Slim Pezin & Patrick Bourgoin in Vol. 62's French Groovin' from 1985

Note that Slim Pezin, the guitarist, was in celebrated French fusion supergroup CCCP, where he penned / picked the fabulous song Death of the Spanish Lion.  On the other hand, there is little information to go on for his colleague in this adventure, Patrick Bourgoin.  So curiosity really drove me to have a listen to this missing AO, adding to the fact it was luckily cheap to purchase. Cheap for a reason?  Well, this is of course fuzak of the worst possible kind...  We can't blame the artist/composer, it was the tenor of the times, the zeitgeist, this simplicity that was in vogue, bullying all over the complicated intellectual patterns of novelty that once obtained in the art of popular music...

Have a listen to the first track:

Friday, 18 March 2016

Paul Bonneau & Orchestre Symphonique Léger De Paris in Orchestral Touch No. 1 (MTS 2.001/2)

In very elegant French the following, written by Mr. Bonneau:

"Light Symphonic Music! 

Between her and I there has always reigned a long and intimate complicity.
I admit I couldn't resist her solicitations and attachments, at the least, I have always sought to serve her with the best I have."

I was hoping by light orchestral we were moving along the lines of easy listening of yore, but instead this is more euro-operetta style.

Note that this is a double-LP.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Mood Music Library in 1968: Jazz Waltz Fox Trot (CMR 418)

Again from my library collector friend, a very old one, from 1968.  The Great Google is helpless it seems before its rarity, as you can see.  There's a wide variety of jazz or big band styles here, clearly influenced by the 50s and 60s era.

Note the info from commenter in the section below regarding composer, whose name is Jack Shaindlin.  Thanks for that, appreciate it.

Many thanks again for my library collector's generosity.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Yan Tregger et al. in Musical Touch, MTS ‎1002

An interesting seeming library record with various artists including the well-known Yan Tregger and a host of other library composers / performers.  Unfortunately this is a true library record in the sense it features musical interludes that really are just snippets for the most part.  A highlight is the Yan Tregger composition for oboe and strings called "Wide View:"

Note that the last pipe-organ composition is also really remarkable, musically.  it's not clear to me who was the composer, David Klapok (aka Francis Personne) or Christopher Ried.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Allee Willis, Childstar, by request (1974)

I would love to thank that anon. user way back when who brought my attention to this tiny perfect gem, which I had never heard of.  It was released as a CD in Japan and for this reason will have a brief appearance only here.  It reminds me a lot of Phoebe Snow's SSW stuff though the songwriting is most similar to Lauro Nyro's insistent diatonic chord changes, upbeat tempos, and bridges making use of the IIminor and IIIminor chords (i.e. most often Dm and Em in the key of C).  Some sparse info here.  I would note that her voice is very hard to get accustomed to, perhaps impossible for some less lenient than myself.  Particularly difficult is the manner in which it changes from song to song from a nasally Bette Midler to a more Laura Nyro-like sensibleness.  On the back there is a cute little blurb written by the artist:

"Allee Willis was a writer for the stars at Columbia Records. She rubbed shoulders and whatnot with the great, the near-great and the lame-- writing ads and album jacket notes for people like Eubie Blake, BST, Streisand, Lauro Nyro, etc.  One day Allee decided that making wonderful discoveries about the stars' toilet habits was no longer where it's at, so she bought a piano and a month later took "Ain't no man worth it," etc. to a friend who knew his beans... etc...."

You might be interested to read the remainder, showing her acumen at English writing (vs. composing, perhaps).  A good sample of her style of composition is the track called "What Kind of Shoes does September Wear?"  [ --note that the name of the month was misrepresented by the guy who did this rip-- oops that would be me]:

The lyrics are highly entertaining to the point where I would declare that the idea of Sept. running away in shoes so quickly made vividly concrete here really not only aspires to but achieves the level of poetry.  A subsequent song about a children's parade in Milwaukee, however, completely shatters my admiration with the rhyme of "walkie-talkie" for the aforementioned city.

Bear in mind that the title track is by far the most entertaining and hummable ditty, so, enjoy it!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Gianni Marchetti's stunning work Solstitium from 1978

Wow, wow, wow... again thanks to my library collector friend for these incredible goodies and it's by his permission I can post an mp3 rip here.

Marchetti was another prolific composer in this era for Italian film as per discogs:  born 7 September 1933 in Rome, Italy, died 11 April 2012 in Rome.  The missing RCA April Orchestra, no. 15, is from him.  Notice he made three records in this fabulous year 1978 (at the ripe age of 45!) including Iris and Gimmick.  I'm assuming, on the strength of this one, those are well worth finding and ripping.  Anybody know anything about them?

It may be some find this record veers too much in the direction of easy listening such as became a joke in the seventies being termed elevator music or muzak, but here it's done so tastefully it's really beyond reproach.  And luckily those days are distant enough today we can judge these styles with perhaps a bit less bias.  Generally we have orchestral passages augmented by solo piano passages, much like the classic US Herb Pilhofer's Spaces.

Consider the out-of-this-world beauty of the track named "August" (each track is named after a month in keeping with the solstice concept):

Now behold the beauty of "December:"

I remember someone making a comment once long ago with regards to these seventies library LPs, "you never hear piano being played like this anymore."

That truly goes to the heart of the matter.

Monday, 7 March 2016

The Rias Orchestra Cond. by Helmuth Brandenburg's Babylon A.M.C. 197? [Library, Intersound ISST 114]

Once again, thanks to my library collector friends for these shares, and once again, thanks to someone for introducing me to something so shockingly good...  How could this music have escaped us until now, after all the collecting???  There's nothing like finding a new artist one never knew about...

A shockingly progressive fusion composition that flows together like a concept album, which it is of course when you scan the song titles, all names from ancient Babylonia, from an easy listening conductor/composer named H. Brandenburg, you can see how prolific he was back in the day.  The LP reminds me a great deal of Arif Mardin's (he of Atlantic Records fame) progressive fusion masterpiece which I mentioned before, The Journey.  (Probably this is his one and only progressive work too, it's rare that we find more than one in these artists' oeuvre, unless we are dealing with someone like Alan Hawkshaw.)

Note that most of the output of Rias Orchestra with H. Brandenburg is godawful muzak, the kind of easy listening with simple and loud strings that sound like vibrating saws that gave the genre such a dreadful reputation, unlike Gianni Marchetti's Solstitium album (soon to come).

Consider the track called Tardema:

Only one of many in there...

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Joanne Grauer is back with the rare 1978 "Introducing Lorraine Feather"

This is more in the jazz territory.  Lorraine Feather was the producer, so it would have seemed more appropriate to reverse the title to "LF introduces JG."  From the other posted record only the Frog Child track reappears. In sound, I guess this is most similar to Joi's First Impressions which I posted earlier.  The first side is all instrumental piano, while the first three tracks on the second are sung by Lorraine. As a random example here's B1, not an original composition:

Some of the instrumentals are quite enjoyable in the typical seventies piano style way.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

April Orchestra Part VI.ii: From Volume 53 to the bitter end...

There are seventeen left here after Volume 52, from 53 through till the end at 69; however, volumes unavailable thus far include 55, 56, 61, 62, 63, 66 (a percussion album). So I have 11 to present today some of which, or perhaps the majority of which, will be very disappointing.

Quickly, Vol. 53 from Morati is simple electronic and drony music such as doesn't appeal to me at all.  Rimbert's 54 is minimal synth that horrifically reminds me of the concurrent Olivia Newton-John aerobics phase of jumping up and down to ultra-basic beats.  58 is simple classical similar to the 52 I presented earlier, 59 is folk music from S. America again of no interest to me.  60 is the easiest kind of baroque classical with violin-played melodies, oddly annoying.  The series of missing volumes in the sixties from 61-63 could be interesting.  On the other hand volumes 64 and 65 are not even worthy of mention, despite the fact Milpatte reappears on the latter.

Yet I suppose it was a good idea to attempt to complete the series out as there were two mini-gems lurking hidden in this installment: Frederic Talgorn's Volume 57 with its surprisingly zeuhl-influenced progressive compositions, and the 68 Impressions de Voyage from Steve Shehan.  This was his first work released, at least in this database, yet his discography continues on for some time as you can see. The music therein is described as tribal, ambient, minimal or electronic, but here we can still detect the slight influence of more advanced compositions.

First, from Talgorn's 57, here's the oddly perhaps zeuhly titled track Ladnophaxi:

Then from Shehan's 68 consider the first track, called Fever:

Finally, appropriately enough perhaps, the series closes out with some digital keys music from Patrick Vasori that will take you straight back to those horrible casio days with fake drums and loud echoey A minor chords punctuating the choppy melodies.

In the entire series (of 85) the missing ones are twenty: the volumes 10 (Indes), 11 (Classical), 12 (Classical), 14 (baroque easy), 17 (phillie), the Czech classical ones 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 30, then 33 and 35 which are available already musically on other records, and in this series, 55, 56, 61, 62, 63, and 66.  In the Italian RCA series there is the No. 15.  Given the descriptions, and often, samples posted on youtube, there is little desire on my part to obtain any of those missing.