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No To Co - No to co

August 31st, 2012

No To Co - No To CoNO TO CO

  • No to co
  • Мелодия
  • 1973
  • USSR

No To Co (in English something like ’so what’) was a folk, skiffle and psych rock combining band from Poland that had a certain funky twist in their music. The band was formed in the late 1960s by Piotr Janczerski, the former lead vocalist of the group Niebiesko-Czarni. Their first public appearance was in a television program called Po szóstej (’after six’), although they didn’t even have a name yet. They soon decided to call themselves Grupa Skifflowa No To Co (skifflowa mean skiffle music), or shortly just No To Co. They started as a band that combined traditional Polish folklore to a skiffle music but after the guitarist Jerzy Grunwald left the band in 1971 and lead singer Piotr Janczerski in the following year they started to move more and more psychedelic hard rock and at the same time lose they popularity. Skiffle is a type of music that started to popularize in New Orleans in the 1940s and 1950s. It’s music played with homemade or improvised instruments - such as combs, washing boards and pots as well as banjos, harmonicas and kazoos - and it has influences from jazz, blues, folk and roots.

The album No to co was released in USSR on national label Melodiya in 1973. I’m not sure when it was released in Poland and what name it had there since all the titles here are in Russian. The first track “Червона рута” (Chervona ruta) is a nice vocal psych track with nice drums and a groovy organ solo in the end. “По ту сторону озера” (Po tu storonu Ozera) instead is a downtempo, more simple track, but still has very funky drums and nice organ work. It’s followed by “Играй, что умеешь” (Igraĭ, chto umyeesh), a midtempo seven minute instrumental psych funk monster that starts with a short break and has several different breaks all over the songs. It reminds me strongly of certain Santana tracks from way back. Then comes the funky vocal psych number “Зеленый мосточек” (Zelenyĭ mostochek) followed by another vocal track, flute driven “Зеленая лужайка” (Zelenaya luzhaĭka). Then after the short polka track comes another two pretty decent tracks. The midtempo “Дими” (Dimi) and the uptempo beat track “Год тебе не пишу” (God tebe ne pisu)” with it’s nice organ work followed by the last track, the heavy vocal number “В боскресенье” (V voskresene).

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y2X0jf9pk
Chervona ruta


Po tu storonu Ozera


Igraĭ, chto umyeesh


Zelenyĭ mostochek


Zelenaya luzhaĭka


God tebe ne pisu


V voskresene

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, rock | No Comments »

Geza Vegh och Hans Musiker - Jazzbalettrytmer

August 15th, 2012

Geza Vegh och Hans Musiker - JazzbalettrytmerGEZA VEGH OCH HANS MUSIKER

  • Jazzbalettrytmer
  • TBV
  • 1970s
  • Sweden

There’s not much info about Geza Vegh nor his musicians, but we know that he did at least this one album, Jazzbalettrytmer (jazz ballet rhythms). It’s one of the several jazz ballet albums released in Sweden during the 1970s and 1980s. Since it’s strictly intended for jazz ballet, all the tracks are very danceable although they vary in pace. And they’re danceable not only in jazz ballet studios, but in bboy cyphers too. The monotonic tracks are great in rhythm although they mostly lack all the melodies and horn stabs that the regular funk music have.

Side a starts with a midtempo latin track and is followed by an uptempo drum frenzy one. Next up is two midtempo drum tracks, first jazzy one, then more funky with a good breakbeat and some piano works and then another jazzy one. Then comes a downtempo song before the last track on side a, which is another uptempo breakbeat drum frenzy. Side b opens with clearly the best track on the album. A strong bboy breakbeat track that actually is just one long three and half minute break. It’s followed by another mellow piano driven track and a latin flavored downtempo track. next is another long four minute midtempo drumbreak. then comes yet another piano track before the last track, a two minute jazzy one. There is no track names and it’s also hard to figure out the sides since Jazzbaletrytmer is a whitelabel. There’s BB and CC scratched on the dead wax and that’s how I choose what’s side a and what’s side b. Jazzbaletrytmer is an interesting album and pops up quite scarcely. Pick it up if you can.


A1


A2


A3


A4


A5


A6


A7


B1


B2


B3


B4


B5


B6

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under educational, europe, jazz | No Comments »

Roots - Pussyfooting

August 12th, 2012

Roots - PussyfootingROOTS

  • Pussyfooting
  • Music De Wolfe
  • 1982
  • UK

Roots was yet another studio band who worked for the production music library company Music De Wolfe and it’s sublabel Rouge Music. They recorded several albums, so this time we’re not talking about a one off band. Their 1982 released album was called Pussyfooting and what you can expect from the year, it was pretty much disco oriented. All the tracks were composed by the well known library composer duo Chris Rae and Frank McDonald.

The album is described as modern group moods featuring electric piano and brass. It starts with midtempo disco funk jam “On the job” with funky beats but a slightly cheesy saxophone. Next up is “Gringo”, the type of disco that doesn’t move me that much. It’s followed by a midtempo disco track “Human spirit” with a hint of reggae on it’s beat. Then comes another uptempo disco take, the title track “Pussyfooting”. Next up is a cosmic disco track “The force”. The elctro funk sounding “Borderline” ends the side a. It could’ve been a great track if there wasn’t this annoying synth ruining the song. B-side starts with a nice disco-funk track “Grafter”. It’s among the best songs on this albums. It’s followed by a percussive uptempo “Jackpot” with a strong Love boat feeling and a hint of some jazzfunk sounds. Next is mellow downtempo “Happy event” followed by jazzy midtempo disco track “Happy hour”. After them comes the standout track, almost five minute long banging uptempo disco funk cut “Party people” with a nice long percussion break and catchy horns. Then comes another dull uptempo disco track “Fun house”. Dark, heavy and spacy electrofunk track “Cliffedge” finally ends the album. Pussyfooting is maybe not a great album as a whole but at least there’s one really great track worth buying the album for that track only and several good and decent tracks to follow.

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under disco, europe, library | No Comments »

Merit Hemmingson - Plays

August 3rd, 2012

Merit Hemmingson - PlaysMERIT HEMMINGSON

  • Plays
  • RCA Camden
  • 1968
  • Sweden

In the mid and late 1960s there started to appear soul jazz recordings in Scandinavia. One of those was Merit Hemmingson’s Plays. 1940 born Merit Hemmingson is an organist, composer and arranger from Sweden, who started her career as a jazz pianist. In the early 1960s she had her own jazz group with four black American female jazz artists, the group was called Merit and her Girl Stars and they toured Sweden in the beginning of the 1960s. In the late 1960s she changed the jazz piano to Hammond B3 organ and started to tour with her newly reformed band The Meritones. In 1967 they recorded her first album with that group. Merit Hemmingson is propably better known for her early 1970s folk-funk albums Huvva, Trollskog or Bergtagen but this soul jazz album from 1968 is definitely worth to be brought up.

Album starts strongly with a good midtempo take of Beatles classic “Lady Madonna” followed by the mellow Louis Armstrong standard “What a wonderful world”. Next up are Cliff Richards‘ Eurovision song contest 1968 entry “Congratulations”, Bob Dylan’s “Too much of nothing” and the latin influenced Chico Buarque’s “A banda”. Then comes a midtempo take of the 5th Dimension hit “Up, up and away” followed by a pretty good downtempo version of Tim Hardin’s “If I were a carpenter”. B-side starts with more heat. First up is pretty funky version of Bar-Kays‘ hit “soul finger” followed by Evert Taube’s mellow tune “Så skimrande var aldrig havet”. Next is a another Bob Dylan song, “Mighty Quinn”. I have heard several better versions, but this ain’t that bad either with it’s tight funky drumming and grooving organ. Next is a banging uptempo breakbeat take of Miriam Makeba’s “Pata pata”. For me it’s clearly the best track of the album. Then comes another pretty good track, funky percussive uptempo groover “The letter” originally by The Box Tops. Last two tracks are heavy percussive take of Frankie Valli song “Can’t take my eyes off you” and a groovy take of “La la la”, which is a 1968 Eurovision song contest entry from Spanish singer Massiel.


Lady Madonna


A Banda


Up And Away


If I Were A Carpenter


Soul Finger


Mighty Quinn


Pata Pata


The Letter


Can’t Take My Eyes Off You


La La La

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under easy listening, europe | No Comments »

Grupo Irakere - Chekere

July 31st, 2012

Grupo Irakere - ChekereGRUPO IRAKERE

  • Chekere
  • Cuba
  • 1976
  • Finland

1973 formed Irakere is no doubt one of the best known groups that ever came from Cuba and they’re one of the most influental bands too. They created their own style with mixing together almost everything rhythmic they heard; jazz, funk, rock and traditional Cuban rhythms. They were busy with album recordings and even more busy with travelling around the world. They also used to record albums wherever they were performing and that was the case in Finland too. Irakere visited Finland in 1976 to play at the Turku Jazz festival and at the same time they visited the Finnvox Studio in Helsinki to cut an album that was then released on Finnish Love Records‘ Cuban music oriented sublabel Cuba. Otto Donner produced the album by the way. The time they visited Finland they weren’t yet known in the United States and they were playing with their original tight line up with Oscar and Chucho Valdés, Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Jorge Alfonso and Enrique Plá among others.

Album starts with one of the best version I have heard of their standard “Chekere son”, a great funky son track with tight start and a nice break. Then comes two mellow tracks “38½” and “En nosotros”. They’re followed by another funky uptempo one, the magnificent studio version of “Juana 1600″. Side b opens with similar sounding uptempo Cuban funk track “Moja el pan”. It’s followed by Chucho Valdes‘ piano track “Este camino largo”. Then comes “Xiomara” that starts with a heavy beat and continue as a groovy midtempo vocal number. Last track is the horn driven Cuban funk track “Illa” with some serious fuzz guitar, heavy percussion work and a sort of a break.


Chekere son


38½


En nosotros


Juana 1600


Moja el pan


Este camino largo


Xiomara


Illa

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under afro-cuban, caribbean, europe | No Comments »

Charles Williams - Love is a very special thing

July 19th, 2012

Charles Williams - Love is a very special thingCHARLES WILLIAMS

  • Love is a very special thing
  • EMI
  • 1975
  • Finland

Born in Columbus, Georgia, Charles Williams – not to be confused with the saxophonist Charles Williams who recorded for Mainstream records – started his musical career very early. He was only six when he had his first performance in a local church. Soon after a short period abroad, his family had moved to San Bernardino, California. Few years later, he started studying classical music at Music Teachers’ Association. By the late 1960s he had switched to rock and soul, and his first public performance from that period was in a religious concert in 1969 in front of 11000 people. And he got standing ovations. After a short period when he had a jazz trio called Sensations, he formed his own soul rock group called Manna. On that group was playing one Billy Carson, who followed Charles to Finland and later played drums and percussion with for example Jukka Tolonen and Timo Kojo. Billy Carson did by the way the first rap recording in Finland with Kojo in 1982 (it was released in 1983 on Kojo’s Time won’t wait album). They also recorded an album with Manna but it never got released - although the raw mix versions got some airplay in California. By the mid 1970s he had already recorded most of the tracks intended for his forthcoming album when he met a Finnish girl in Cali and followed her up north to Finland.

“When I got here I soon realised that there wasn’t that much soul music in Finland. One day I heard Kirka singing his cover of “Living for the city” and it sounded nice to me. I contacted his label (EMI) and I told I had done such music myself. They took my music for listening and they liked it. So next I went to the Marcus Music studio in Stockholm to do the final mixing for the album. Why Stockholm? Because I knew Marcus Music was the place in Scandinavia.”

The band backing Charles Williams on this album (except on “Reason to make you smile”, that was backed by Finnish musicians) was called Psalm 150. They were all white gospel-rock band - although they called themselves funky gospel band. They recorded two albums in mid 1970s but the second one remains unpublished to this very day. Their only album that came out was called Make up your mind and it was released in 1974 by Manna music. It’s also released in Sweden by Pilot if somebody got interested. I guess by the time Love is a very special thing was released, Finland wasn’t ready for soul music as sophisticated as this was. The album sold poorly and the distribution was very minimal, thence the album is extremely rare and in some circles very in demand.

Musically Love is a very special thing is very soulful and calm toned with strings and Williams’ falsetto. It starts with the blaxploitation anthem sounding instrumental “Theme from long road” with strong percussion work by Greg Eckler, wistful strings and very catchy horns stabs. Williams had said that this tune came to his mind while driving his car on a highway. There was nothing good on the radio so he started to hum something he wanted to hear. For me it’s clearly the best track on the album. Next is a guitar heavy ballad called “Helen”. It’s followed by the reason why the record is in demand, the crossover soul track “Standing in the way” where Williams does himself his own backing chorus. “Standing in the way” was also released as 45, but it’s ever rarer than the LP. It was also reissued on 45 by Lifesaver records ten years ago. Last track on side a is another ballad, “Reason to make you smile”, the only track that was composed and recorded in Finland. B-side starts with another funky midtempo soul track “Change it”, which was also on the a side of the “Standing in the way” 45. According to Williams it wasn’t intended to be for dancefloors, it was a reflection of a person shouting ‘I wanna change it’. Next comes again another ballad, the title track “Love is a very special thing” followed by the instrumental of “Standing in the way” called simply “Standing”. Finally the last track, epic ten minute “Your life” ends the album. It’s a main theme from the film Too late to wait - although I’m not sure if such film was ever made. Overall Love is a very special thing is quite a nice album as a listening experience, though I personally don’t consider it worth the 200-300 euros people keep asking for it.


Theme from long road


Standing in the way


Change it


Standing


Your life

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, soul | No Comments »

The Button Down Brass - Firedog!

July 13th, 2012

Button Down Brass - FiredogTHE BUTTON DOWN BRASS

  • Firedog!
  • DJM records
  • 1976
  • UK

The Button Down Brass’ Firedog! is somewhat the UK equivalent to the Cop show themes. The sound is quite similar and there’s four songs that appear in both albums. The Button Down Brass was one of the top notch British easy listening / lounge bands. In their 21 active years they released dozens of albums, participated in production library records and other projects. Too bad most of their recordings are very uninteresting lounge cheese. Luckily there are some exceptions to that. The Button Brown Brass was led by one of the foremost musicians in UK, Ray Davies - not to be confused with The Kinks frontman with the same name. Within his over 50 year career, Davies has worked with pretty much everyone worth to mention; The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Liza Minelli, Burt Bacharach, Quincy Jones, Henry Mancini and so on. So when The Button Down Brass were recording all the covers they did, Davies was the man to do the arrangements and he also conducted them. Ravies was of course doing some original compositions too.

The 1976 released album Firedog! is one of the best The Button Down Brass ever recorded, along with the other album from the same period, Funk in hell, it’s also the most funky. Although the slight easy listening cheesiness is creeping in time to time. Albums starts with the “Theme from Police story”, the theme from the NBC crime drama Police story, originally composed by Jerry Goldsmith. With some weird moog sounds and funky horns it’s a nice uptempo detective funk track. Next up is Morton Stevens composition “Hawaii 5-0”, It’s quite similar to original first, but then there’s a funky middle part with a percussion break that makes it interesting. While “Hawaii 5-0” is better than the Henry Mancini version, the next one also on both albums, “Theme from Police woman” is not that banging than the one in Cop show themes. But despite the slight lazyness, the melancholic trumpet and the lack of the opening break, it’s still somehow a little funkier than the Mancini take. Next one is the an original composition of Ray Davies called “Firedog!” and it’s among the best tracks of the album. Funky wah-wah, percussions, horns and a tight break in the middle makes it almost a perfect detective funk track. It’s followed by a little light, but still funky “Theme from the Rockford files”, originally by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter. Last track on side a is “Mc Cloud theme”, an uptempo take of the David Shire original from the NBC police drama McCloud with western styled guitars and nice horn stabs. B-side opens with a nice version of Billy Goldenberg’s “Kojak”. It’s followed by the theme by Harry South from the British television police drama The Sweeney, also ok version. Next comes another standout track, “Quiller”, originally written by Richard Denton and Martin Cook taken from the British drama series Quiller. It starts with a nice break and is overall a very good version. The last three tracks are the ones I like the least. First the Glen Larson written theme from the US detective series Switch, then another Ray Davies composition “Theme from Kiss of blood” and finally the “Columbo theme” originally by Billy Goldenberg. Despite the few weak tracks, Firedog! is one of the best kept secrets of the British detective funk cover albums.


Theme from Police story


Hawaii 5-0


Theme from Police Woman


Firedog!


Theme from the Rockford files


Mc Cloud theme


Kojak theme


The Sweeney


Quiller


Switch theme


Theme from Kiss of blood


Columbo theme

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under cinematic funk, europe, funk, soundtrack | No Comments »

Eero Koivistoinen Music Society - Wahoo!

July 4th, 2012

Eero Koivistoinen Music Society - Wahoo!EERO KOIVISTOINEN MUSIC SOCIETY

  • Wahoo!
  • RCA Victor
  • 1973
  • Finland

1946 born saxophone player Eero Koivistoinen is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in Finnish jazz scene. He has done a long career as a musician, composer, arranger, conductor and producer. His career started in the mid 1960s in an orchestra playing experimental avant-garde jazz. The first solo album of Eero Koivistoinen was a concept album of poems by well known Finnish poets sung by well known Finnish singers Eero Raittinen, Vesa-Matti Loiri and Seija Simola. That album was called Valtakunta (The Kingdom in English) and it was released in 1968. In the beginning of 1070s Koivistoinen moved to the United States to study in the famous Berklee College of Music in Boston for three years. After almost 50 years and dozens of albums he’s still an active character playing with the next generation of Finnish jazz cats today.

In 1973 was released the album Wahoo! with a one-off group called Eero Koivistoinen Music Society. Involved in this sort of a supergroup was many of the very same musicians that were playing in most of the Finnish jazz records that time. And what a line-up that was; Eero Koivistoinen on saxophones (tenor, soprano, sopranino and electric soprano), Juhani Aalto on trombone, Kaj Backlund on trumpet, Juhani Aaltonen and Unto Haapa-aho on reeds, Esa Helasvuo, Esko Linnavalli and Olli Ahvenlahti on Fender Rhodes, Ilpo Saastamoinen and Ilkka Willman on electric guitar, Heikki Virtanen and Ilkka Willman on bass and Edward Vesala, Esko Rosnell, Reiska Laine and Sabu Martinez on drums and percussion. The album sounds exactly what you expect with a line-up like that. Syncopated funky jazz fusion with really tight rhythms by the set of two drummers, two bassists and two guitarists.

The album starts with the strong midtempo saxophone driven jazz groover “Hot c”. Almost eight minutes of action is what you get here. It’s followed by “7 up”, more jazzy but at least equally heavy track. Next up is “6 down”. With it’s eight minutes of some serious wah-wah, funky Rhodes and drums it’s among the best tracks on the album. B-side starts with the epic almost 11 minutes long “Suite 19”. It starts with an experimental sounding four minute intro before turning into an uptempo wah-wah driven, percussive, almost blaxploitation sounding track. Next track, “Bells” is the only mellow track on the album. Last but not least is the downtempo funky fusion title track “Wahoo!”. Overall this album is really great but not that magnificent it’s often praised. And in my opinion it’s not worth the 300-400 euros people ask for it. Luckily for all the non purists it was reissued in 2001. The reissue – both cd and vinyl – come with the cover coloring it should’ve been. Originally the print messed up the cover and it’s colors were a little different what they were intended to be.


Hot c


7 Up


6 Down


Suite 19


Bells


Wahoo!

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, jazzfunk | No Comments »

Remigio Ducros - La palla é rotonda

July 1st, 2012

Remigio Ducros - La Palla E RotondaREMIGIO DUCROS

  • La palla é rotonda
  • Vroommm
  • early 1970s
  • Italy

There were several small Italian production music library companies that were active some years from late 1960s to maybe mid 1970s and then just faded away. Vroommm was one of those, it was extablished in late 1960s and released small but diverse selection of records. In honor of the ongoing football European championships I bring up one of their records, a concept album by the Italian composer Remigio Ducros, La palla é rotonda (in English ‘the ball is round’). Different styled compositions relating to sports and especially football was the thing in this album.

Musically this album is quite diverse and maybe not funky as could be expected by the composer. There’s weird moog tracks, dark and spacy synth tracks, light and moody vocal tracks and so on. There’s highlights of course too. The downtempo synth track “Calcio al ralenti” is pretty ok as well as the midtempo moogy and funky “Una partita agitata”. There’s however four tracks above the others. “Contropiede”, a guitar heavy latin influenced uptempo groover. A funky midtempo breakbeat track “La rimonta”. A midtempo drum and percussion track “Pressing” and a little similar sounding but funkier “Sgambetto”. This nowadays very rare album is maybe not worth the full price but if seen cheap enough, don’t hesitate to pick it up.


Calcio al ralenti


Una partita agitata


Contropiede


La rimonta


Pressing


Sgambetto

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under cinematic funk, europe, library | No Comments »

Perez Prado - Tequila!

June 28th, 2012

Perez Prado - TequilaPEREZ PRADO

  • Tequila
  • Cannon Records
  • 1974
  • Belgium

Everybody has heard about the king of mambo, Perez Prado. At least at some point. But most of the people don’t know that there was two of them. Brothers Damason Pérez Prado and his little brother, Pantaleón Pérez Prado both shared the same artist name. Neither of the Perez Prados used their first name, but only their last names and the confusion was quite obvious. While Damason Pérez Prado was mainly working on the States, his bass playing brother was in Europe acting as the “true king of mambo”. Even when Pantaleón Perez Prado died in 1983, the press announced the death of his brother as the news was only about the death of Perez Prado. In Spanish speaking countries people have two last names. First one is the paternal (father’s surname) and second is maternal (mother’s surname). That’s the reason for the name issue. So, Damason Pérez Prado was the more famous brother, the king of mambo, but his brother was the funkier one. Even though a lawsuit in 1956 eventually restrained Pantaleón from making further use of the name Perez Prado, there was still few of his albums released in the 1970s under that name. And they were pretty banging.

This album was most propably released originally in Italy, as it was licensed from Beat Records. I’m just not sure what the name of that version is. Tequila! was the name of the Belgian release and the album was also released in the UK by the name Now. Anyways, whatever the name is, it’s a very strong album. There’s no weak tracks, it’s just full of very funky afro-cuban groovers with a loads of breaks. Check for yourself.


Brazil


Tommy


El Manisero


Escandalo No 1


Chicago Banana


Tequila


Cangrejo


Smack!

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under afro-cuban, europe, funk | No Comments »
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