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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Karrin Allyson - Collage - 1996 - 320


















Bitrate: 320 kbps
Review (AMG) by Scott Yanow

Vocalist Karrin Allyson stretches herself during this diverse set. A superior jazz singer, Allyson scats quite well during "It Could Happen to You/Fried Bananas" and "Cherokee," sings lyrics in English, French ("Autumn Leaves") and Italian, interprets some fairly current pop tunes, is touching on Thelonious Monk's "Ask Me Now" and is quite memorable on "Joy Spring" and "All of You." With assistance from her fine Kansas City-based rhythm section (led by pianist Paul Smith) and with some worthy guests (including altoist Kim Park, violinist Claude Williams and flugelhornist Mike Metheny), Karrin Allyson shows just how versatile and talented a singer she is. Recommended.

01 It Could Happen To You/Fried Bananas.m4a
02 Les Feuilles Mortes (Autumn Leaves).m4a
03 Robert Frost.m4a
04 All Of You.m4a
05 And So It Goes.m4a
06 Joy Spring.m4a
07 Ask Me Now.m4a
08 Cherokee.m4a
09 Here, There And Everywhere.m4a
10 Give It Up Or Let Me Go.m4a
11 Faltando Um Pedaço (Missing A Piece).m4a
12 Live For Life.m4a

Links are in the Comments, might as well leave a comment while you’re there ;-)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Jan Garbarek - Visible World @320



Bitrate: 320kbps
RAR pass is : thebbs

Link:
http://www.sharebigfile.com/file/12854/JGVW.rar.html

01 - Jan Garbarek - Red Wind
02 - Jan Garbarek - The Creek
03 - Jan Garbarek - The Survivor
04 - Jan Garbarek - The Healing Smoke
05 - Jan Garbarek - Visible World (Chiaro)
06 - Jan Garbarek - Desolate Mountains I
07 - Jan Garbarek - Desolate Mountains Ii
08 - Jan Garbarek - Visible World (Scuro)
09 - Jan Garbarek - Giulietta
10 - Jan Garbarek - Desolate Mountains Iii
11 - Jan Garbarek - Pygmy Lullaby
12 - Jan Garbarek - The Quest
13 - Jan Garbarek - The Arrow
14 - Jan Garbarek - The Scythe
15 - Jan Garbarek - Evening Land
Jan Garbarek has again blessed us with a thing of exquisite beauty. As you start the first track, Red Wind, you are overcome by an instant, ethereal atmosphere. It's like aromatherapy, on a CD. The CD then takes you on a journey, through powerful, poignant pieces like The Survivor, through detatched, lightweight pieces like the Desolate Mountains, Haunting, weird pieces like Visible World (chiaro -) and leaves you with the stirring, cool Evening Land.

Stanley Clarke & Randy Brecker - Implosions @320



Bitrate: 320kbps
RAR pass is : thebbs

Link:

http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=download&ufid=F449D3BA53AB7FF4

01 - Implosions - All The Things You Are
02 - Implosions - Loverman
03 - Implosions - Skylark
04 - Implosions - Green Dolphin Street
05 - Implosions - Bass Folk Song
06 - Implosions - Softly, As A Morning
07 - Implosions - So What
Stanley Clarke, Randy Brecker, Frank Morgan, Ernie Watts, Eric Gale, McCoy Tyner,
Roger Kellaway & Peter Erskine.
JAZZVISIONS. Implosions.
Copyright Collection
Jack Lewis Production/Bonnie Burns Productions, Inc., 1988.
Director: Louis J. Horvitz; Executive Producer: Jack Lewis;
Producer: Bonnie Burns; Associate Producer: Judy Zaylor.
Recorded December 5, 1986, this is a live performance
of Randy Brecker, Stanley Clarke, Peter Erskine, Eric Gale, Roger
Kellaway, Frank Morgan, McCoy Tyner and Ernie Watts, with an
introduction by Bud Cort. Numbers include "Green Dolphin Street,"
Improv Solo, "Loverman," "Skylark," "Softly as in a Morning
Sunrise" .

Oscar Peterson & Toots Thielemans - Live at the NSJF 1980






Oscar Peterson & Toots Thielemans - Live at the NSJF 1980 @320


Bitrate: 320kbps
RAR pass is : thebbs

Link:
http://www.sharebigfile.com/download.php?id=A0324F3C

01 - Oscar Peterson & Toots Thielemans - Caravan
02 - Oscar Peterson & Toots Thielemans - Straight, No Chaser
03 - Oscar Peterson & Toots Thielemans - Like Someone In Love
04 - Oscar Peterson & Toots Thielemans - There Is No You
05 - Oscar Peterson & Toots Thielemans - You Stepped Out Of Dream
06 - Oscar Peterson & Toots Thielemans - Good Bye
07 - Oscar Peterson & Toots Thielemans - (There Is) No Greater Love

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Eric Clapton - Unplugged [1992 - 256kbps]


By the time Eric Clapton launched his solo career with the release of his self-titled debut album in mid-1970, he was long established as one of the world's major rock stars due to his group affiliations -- the Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Cream, and Blind Faith -- affiliations that had demonstrated his claim to being the best rock guitarist of his generation. That it took Clapton so long to go out on his own, however, was evidence of a degree of reticence unusual for one of his stature. And his debut album, though it spawned the Top 40 hit "After Midnight," was typical of his self-effacing approach: it was, in effect, an album by the group he had lately been featured in, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends.

Not surprisingly, before his solo debut had even been released, Clapton had retreated from his solo stance, assembling from the D&B&F ranks the personnel for a group, Derek and the Dominos, with which he played for most of 1970. Clapton was largely inactive in 1971 and 1972, due to heroin addiction, but he performed a comeback concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London on January 13, 1973, resulting in the album Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert (September 1973).

But Clapton did not launch a sustained solo career until July 1974, when he released 461 Ocean Boulevard, which topped the charts and spawned the number one single "I Shot the Sheriff."

The persona Clapton established over the next decade was less that of guitar hero than arena rock star with a weakness for ballads. The follow-ups to 461 Ocean Boulevard, There's One in Every Crowd (March 1975), the live E.C. Was Here (August 1975), and No Reason to Cry (August 1976), were less successful. But Slowhand (November 1977), which featured both the powerful "Cocaine" (written by JJ Cale, who had also written "After Midnight") and the hit singles "Lay Down Sally" and "Wonderful Tonight," was a million-seller. Its follow-ups, Backless (November 1978), featuring the Top Ten hit "Promises," the live Just One Night (April 1980), and Another Ticket (February 1981), featuring the Top Ten hit "I Can't Stand It," were all big sellers.

Clapton's popularity waned somewhat in the first half of the '80s, as the albums Money and Cigarettes (February 1983), Behind the Sun (March 1985), and August (November 1986) indicated a certain career stasis. But he was buoyed up by the release of the box set retrospective Crossroads (April 1988), which seemed to remind his fans of how great he was. Journeyman (November 1989) was a return to form.

It would be his last new studio album for nearly five years, though in the interim he would suffer greatly and enjoy surprising triumph. On March 20, 1991, Clapton's four-year-old son was killed in a fall. While he mourned, he released a live album, 24 Nights (October 1991), culled from his annual concert series at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and prepared a movie soundtrack, Rush (January 1992). The soundtrack featured a song written for his son, "Tears in Heaven," that became a massive hit single.

In March 1992, Clapton recorded a concert for MTV Unplugged that, when released on an album in August, became his biggest-selling record ever. Two years later, Clapton returned with a blues album, From the Cradle, which became one of his most successful albums, both commercially and critically. Crossroads 2: Live in the '70s, a box set chronicling his live work from the '70s, was released to mixed reviews. In early 1997, Clapton, billing himself by the pseudonym "x-sample," collaborated with keyboardist/producer Simon Climie as the ambient new age and trip-hop duo T.D.F. The duo released Retail Therapy to mixed reviews in early 1997.

Clapton retained Climie as his collaborator for Pilgrim, his first album of new material since 1989's Journeyman. Pilgrim was greeted with decidedly mixed reviews upon its spring 1998 release, but the album debuted at number four and stayed in the Top 10 for several weeks on the success of the single "My Father's Eyes." In 2000, Clapton teamed up with old friend BB King on Riding With the King, a set of blues standards and material from contemporary singer/songwriters. Another solo outing entitled Reptile followed in early 2001. Three years later, Clapton issued Me and Mr. Johnson, a collection of tunes honoring the Mississippi-born bluesman Robert Johnson. 2005's Back Home, Clapton's 14th album of original material, reflected his ease with fatherhood.

Eric Clapton's Unplugged was responsible for making acoustic-based music, and Unplugged albums in particular, a hot trend in the early '90s. Clapton's concert was not only one of the finest Unplugged episodes, but was also some of the finest music he had recorded in years. Instead of the slick productions that tainted his '80s albums, the music was straightforward and direct, alternating between his pop numbers and traditional blues songs. The result was some of the most genuine, heartfelt music the guitarist has ever committed to tape. And some of his most popular -- the album sold over seven million copies in the U.S. and won several Grammies

1. Signe
2. Before You Accuse Me
3. Hey Hey
4. Tears In Heaven
5. Lonely Stranger
6. Nobody Knows You When You're Down & Out
7. Layla
8. Running On Faith
9. Walkin' Blues
10. Alberta
11. San Francisco Bay Blues
12. Malted Milk
13. Old Love
14. Rollin' & Tumblin'

pw:sth1453
part 1
part 2

Njoy!

Turk

Harry Chapin - The Gold Medal Collection [1988 - 320kbps]


Harry Chapin's career as a popular singer/songwriter was cut short by an auto accident in 1981, yet he left behind a series of recordings that his fans continue to treasure decades after his death. Chapin was never a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter. Critics accused him of over-sentimentalizing his subjects and attaching heavy-handed morals to his socially aware story-songs; the heavily orchestrated arrangements that accompanied many of his songs didn't help his case with the critics, either. Nevertheless, Chapin earned a devoted audience during the '70s, through his music and his charity work as a social activist.

Chapin began performing while he was in high school, singing in the Brooklyn Heights Boys' Choir and forming a band with his brothers Tom and Stephen. During college, he decided to pursue a career as a documentary filmmaker; in 1968, he directed the Oscar-nominated Legendary Champions. In 1971, he switched his career, concentrating on music. Chapin recruited a backing band through an ad in the Village Voice; the respondents included bassist John Wallace, guitarist Ron Palmer, and cellist Tim Scott. The group began performing in various clubs around New York and the singer/songwriter was soon signed to Elektra Records.

Heads and Tails, Chapin's first album, was released in the summer of 1972 and became a success thanks to the hit single "Taxi," which soon became the songwriter's signature tune. Later that year, he released his second album, Sniper and Other Love Songs, which didn't fare quite as well as his debut. Short Stories, Chapin's third album, appeared in the spring of 1973; it spent 23 weeks on the chart due to the success of the single "W.O.L.D.," a story about the life of a disc jockey. After recording his fourth album, Verities and Balderdash, Chapin disbanded his backing band and began work on his musical The Night That Made America Famous; both Wallace and cellist Michael Masters worked on the show, along with guitarist Doug Walker, drummer Howie Fields, and Chapin's brothers Tom, Steve, and Jim. While he was working on the musical, Verities and Balderdash became his biggest hit, peaking at number four on the U.S. charts and becoming a gold record. The album's success was benefited by the number-one single "Cat's in the Cradle," a song about an inconsiderate, career-oriented father that was based on a poem written by Chapin's wife.

The Night That Made America Famous opened on February 26, 1975. It closed on April 6, after 75 performances; the show would earn two Tony nominations. Chapin won an Emmy award that spring for his contributions to ABC television's children's series Make a Wish, which was hosted by his brother Tom. That spring, the singer/songwriter co-founded World Hunger Year, a charity designed to raise money to fight international famine; the organization earned over $350,000 in its first year. In the fall of 1975, Chapin delivered Portrait Gallery, his follow-up to Verities and Balderdash. While the album performed respectably, peaking at number 53, it failed to recapture the mass audience of his previous album.

Greatest Stories -- Live, a double album released in the spring of 1976, became the singer/songwriter's second gold album, peaking at number 48. Chapin was becoming more politically active throughout 1976, as evidenced by his role as a delegate at that summer's Democratic Convention. Late in 1976, he released On the Road to Kingdom Come, which spent a mere six weeks on the charts. The 1977 double-album Dance Band on the Titanic was on the charts for a few more weeks, yet it didn't spawn a hit single. The following year, Chapin met with President Jimmy Carter, discussing the need for a Presidential Commission on Hunger; he also released Living Room Suite that summer, which peaked at number 133.

Chapin released a second live album, Legends of the Lost and Found -- New Greatest Stories Live, in the fall of 1979; it was his least-successful album, spending only three weeks on the charts. In 1980, he signed with Boardwalk Records, releasing Sequel that fall; the title track of the album was a sequel to his first hit single, "Taxi," and became his last Top 40 hit.

On July 16, 1981, Chapin was driving to a business meeting on the Long Island Expressway near Jericho, NY, when his car was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer. The accident caused his gas tank to explode, killing the singer/songwriter in the process. A memorial fund was established in his name following his death, with Elektra Records providing the initial donation of 10,000 dollars. Over the years, the fund has raised an estimated $5 million, which has gone to a variety of social causes that were close to Chapin's heart.

"The Gold Medal Collection" is a loving tribute to the memory of Harry Chapin and not just a traditional Greathest Hits album. You will find almost all of your favorite Harry Chapin songs included on this two-disc set--"Taxi," "Cat's in the Cradle," "A Better Place to Be," "W*O*L*D," "Mr. Tanner," "Corey's Coming," "The Rock"--along with Harry talking about Thanksgiving Hunger Drives, Commitment and Pete Seger, Calluses, Performing and his Grandfather, all of which serve to remind us of the man behind the music. Before there was Bob Geldoff or Band-Aid, there was Harry Chapin raising money in his concerts for hunger relief. In terms of what is new and different on this album, there are several live versions of songs, which serve to remind us how much Harry enjoyed playing for his audiences, and "Sniper" from his first album, which has yet to be released on CD. The first disc ends with "There Only Was One Choice," his longest song from "Dance Band on the Titanic," which certainly takes on an added significance given the whole of Harry's life and the tragedy of his untimely death. The collection ends with a poignant live version of his traditional encore piece, "Circle," with Harry promising to be out to talk to the fans and to see them again some time soon. Even if you have the rest of Harry's albums, this one is still a most worthy addition to your collection. If for some reason you do not own a Harry Chapin album, this is the one you want. Then you will understand why we all miss him so much.

Disc: 1
1. Taxi
2. Sunday Morning Sunshine
3. Old College Avenue
4. Dirty Old Man
5. I Wanna Learn A Love Song
6. Cat's In The Cradle
7. Tangled Up Puppet
8. Dancing Boy
9. Thanksgiving Hunger Drives
10. Flowers Are Red
11. She Sings Songs Without Words
12. Shooting Star
13. Winter Song
14. Story Of A Life
15. Commitment & Pete Seeger
16. There Was Only One Choice

Disc: 2
1. A Better Place To Be
2. Mail Order Annie
3. Performing
4. W*O*L*D*
5. Mr. Tanner
6. Corey's Coming
7. A Child Is Born
8. Sniper
9. Calluses
10. The Rock
11. Danceband On The Titanic
12. I Wonder What Would Happen To This World
13. Sequel
14. My Grandfather
15. Remember When The Music (Reprise)
16. Circle

pw:sth1453
part 1
part2
part 3
part 4

Njoy!

Turk

Alex Maryol - They Call Me Lefty @ 320


















Bitrate: 320kbps
RAR pass is : thebbs
Links:


http://www.sharebigfile.com/download.php?id=BBB667A4


01. Alex Maryol - Keep On Movin'
02. Alex Maryol - Nine Weeks
03. Alex Maryol - Take these Blues Away
04. Alex Maryol - Clarksdale
05. Alex Maryol - Ramblin' Man's Blues
06. Alex Maryol - Thinkin' About You
07. Alex Maryol - Ball & Chain
08. Alex Maryol - Don't Say You Do
09. Alex Maryol - Prayer Song
10. Alex Maryol - Mista Blues
11. Alex Maryol - Lonely For You Baby
12. Alex Maryol - Sinner's Blues
Alex Maryol is a gifted musician and prolific songwriter from Santa Fe who manages his own career and is currently working on a second album. He’s played the “Thirsty Ear Festival” and shared stages with blues heavy hitters Corey Harris, Joe Ely and Otis Taylor. He plays his own sizzling electric and smoldering acoustic blues tunes an average of twenty nights a month at Northern New Mexico’s busiest night spots. The release of Alex’s debut recording, They Call Me Lefty, has received critical attention and has insured a strong following at both the solo and band performances.
I caught up with him at my studio as he had just returned from the renowned South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. “I didn’t go to play,” he explained as he walked in, “I went to check out some of the acts and go to the panels. There are all these great workshops about the industry, contacts to make and what-not.”
He plunked his satchel on the floor, phone on the table, and himself onto a short stool. He pulled out a notebook and quickly looked over some “song doodles” that “came to [him] on the way over” to my house.
“I would love to play SXSW sometime,” he continued as he closed his notebook, “but you’ve got to apply for that and I didn’t feel I had all the right representative material; that’s why I’m headed back into the studio.” His impressive self-produced debut release They Call Me Lefty, was recorded winter 1998 and into 1999 at Santa Fe’s Stepbridge Studios.
Smiling, he admitted he “essentially stole” his friend and seasoned blues player Jono Manson’s band to back him up on the album because he didn’t have regular players. “[They Call Me Lefty] is good for a debut and I like it, but it doesn’t really represent what I’m doing now.”
I asked Alex exactly how he got to “now” and he began to offer up a few stories. He detailed how his dad used to play a lot of Chuck Berry in the car and that his mom bought him a classical guitar at seven, but I suspected the roots went deeper. I asked him if I could perhaps do a little of my own research into his past. I asked him if I could call his parents.
Alex’s folks, Jim and Ann Maryol, own and operate Tia Sophia’s, a popular restaurant among locals and tourists in the heart of Santa Fe. It’s been a fixture since 1975, and ever since Alex’s career took off, something of a shrine as well; the walls are decorated with photos of, and press about Alex.
I called the Maryols at home, Ann answered, and I introduced myself. “Alex was probably three or four months old when he would try to pick himself up in his crib to listen to music,” she volunteered. “When he was three-and-a-half I sent him to Miss Gillian’s Yamaha Music School for piano...he was very shy. Um, he’s over that now.”
Obviously, Alex didn’t stick with piano so I pressed for an explanation. Ann related that she and Jim did indeed buy him a buy him a guitar when he was seven but that his first guitar teacher, Robert Gonzales, reported that Alex didn’t practice much. Nonetheless, Alex played “for the family at Christmas and he never stopped after that.”
Alex flirted with Rock and Roll in his early teens and remains a serious fan, but fell in love with the blues early on as he realized that, “Rock and Roll at the core—in its heart—is the blues. Look at Led Zeppelin or the Stones.”
In 1997 Alex met Thomas “Blues” Uhde, known locally as Tommy Blues, a harmonica player whose acrobatic melodies are featured on They Call Me Lefty, “and began to jam and gig with him.” Alex has collaborated with diverse players since, but the current line-up includes drummer Mike Chavez and Jose Romero on bass; Tommy, ever an inspiration to Alex, plays with the trio when he’s available.
The Alex Maryol Trio performed at The Paramount in Santa Fe March 2nd and won me over with their solid, commanding sound. “The trio is really a live band and so I’d like to go back to the studio in record live instead of tracking parts separately so we can get the vibe of the performance on tape,” he told me as if he’d just decided. “I’d also like to lay down some more solo acoustic numbers on this one too,” he added and promised the new release, likely an EP, by July this year.
According to Alex, there’s no right or wrong way to write a song. He said he comes up with tunes, or rather; the tunes come to him before he writes the lyrics. “Ideas come all the time…they’re just like sketches or doodles at first but then I go back and develop them…some of them die, some of them live.”
When asked if this is what he wanted to do the rest of his life, Alex confided, “I think this is what I was meant to do. I feel every person has a calling, a place in life no matter who they are…. I believe music is what I’m here to do.” Alex Maryol is twenty years old.
–Max Friedenberg, New Mexico CultureNet Contributor

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Chick Corea - The Ultimate Adventure (2006)

Chick Corea - The Ultimate Adventure (2006)



Chick Corea - The Ultimate Adventure (2006)

mp3 @ 320 Kbps | 115 Mb. | Jazz, Easy Listening


Chick Corea was recently named a National Endowment for the Arts “Jazz Master”, and there is little doubt that he has total command of the idiom. Indeed, Mr. Corea is one of the few jazz musicians who has not only worked in a rainbow of styles but also has been commercially successful across the board.

He has been a delicate solo pianist, an avant-garde piano trio leader, a Miles Davis sideman, an accomplished composer and bandleader in a Latin style, a fusioneer, a Bud Powell interpreter, even a smooth jazz guy. That’s only a partial list, yet Chick has pioneered—and sold records—everywhere.

The Ultimate Adventure is a stunning record because it summarizes a huge swath of Chick’s career. It is a seamless and ingenious blend that even incorporates an element or two that are new to the Corea canon. It would be hard to call it Chick’s best album, as nearly every fan will prefer a disc that works magic in one or another favorite Corea style, but it is surely the artist’s most successful attempt to collect all that he does in one piece of music.

Mr. Corea composed these 11 multi-part suites as tone poems to match the characters and settings from a science fiction fantasy written by you know who. As a result they are inherently descriptive—like musical portraits and landscapes. At the same time, they are meant to (and do) have a sense of drama and action. The compositions are immediately recognizable as Chick’s: precise written bass lines, jaggedly pretty melodies, Latin grooves that provide plenty of room for a stabbing piano chord or a butterfly quick Rhodes solo, intricate parts-writing for flute, bass, saxophone, synth, guitar. The difference with The Ultimate Adventure is that Mr. Corea’s tunes seem effortless again—this recording seems to share something of the light-as-a-feather feel that defined the first Return to Forever band of the 1970s with Joe Farrell on flute Stanley Clarke on bass, and Airto Moreira on percussion. It’s a welcome return to a more playful Corea.

Tracklist:

1. Three Ghouls: Part I
2. Three Ghouls: Part II
3. Three Ghouls: Part III
4. City Of Brass
5. Queen Tedmur
6. El Stephen: Part I
7. El Stephen: Part II
8. King & Queen
9. Moseb The Executioner: Part I
10. Moseb The Executioner: Part II
11. Moseb The Executioner: Part III
12. North Africa
13. Flight From Karoof: Part I
14. Flight From Karoof: Part II
15. Planes Of Existence: Part I
16. Arabian Nights: Part I
17. Arabian Nights: Part II
18. Gods & Devils
19. Planes Of Existence: Part II

Download link:
http://rapidshare.de/files/25908599/CCTUA2006.part1.rar.html
http://rapidshare.de/files/25913045/CCTUA2006.part2.rar.html
http://rapidshare.de/files/25906312/CCTUA2006.part3.rar.html

Pass: elcangrejo

Greetings from Spain! ;-)


PS:
More sellected music to be found at my Blog:
http://musicaselecta.blogspot.com/

Ray Charles - Genius Loves Company @320





Bitrate: 320kbps
RAR pass is : thebbs
Links:
http://www.sharebigfile.com/download.php?id=328F9157
01 - Ray Charles - Here We Go Again - Features Norah Jones
02 - Ray Charles - Sweet Potato Pie - Features James Taylor
03 - Ray Charles - You Don't Know Me - Features Diana Krall
04 - Ray Charles - Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word - Features Elton John
05 - Ray Charles - Fever - Features Natalie Cole
06 - Ray Charles - Do I Ever Cross Your Mind - Features Bonnie Raitt
07 - Ray Charles - It Was A Very Good Year - Features Willie Nelson
08 - Ray Charles - Hey Girl - Features Michael Mcdonald
09 - Ray Charles - Sinner's Prayer - Features B.B. King
10 - Ray Charles - Heaven Help Us All - Features Gladys Knight
11 - Ray Charles - Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Features Johnny Mathis
12 - Ray Charles - Crazy Love - Features Van Morrison
Ray Charles truly gave back to the world of music. In his last album, a series of duets, aptly titled "Genius Loves Company", Charles and his collaborators give us that eclectic mix of styles he was known for.
There are a couple of tracks, recorded early in 2004, when Ray was ill, where his voice and manner are notably subdued. There are three miscalculations of the choice of songs that he made with his collaborator. There are the inevitable difficulties of harmonizing with Ray -- (a man who had a knack for never singing a song the way you expect someone to), and those come through in some of the duets, although most feature echo singing and response, and little harmony.
What a thrill to be asked to work with Ray on one of his previous hits....Gladys Knight is his featured partner in his gospel classic, "Heaven Help Us All". Backed by a choir, Ray and Gladys mix richly. Ray has several blues cuts on the CD -- the best of these is "Sinner's Prayer" with BB King. Ray jams on the piano and BB gives Lucille a workout, with some background Hammond B3 by the legendary Billy Preston. Ray and BB have a natural mix on one of Ray's oldest songs. Some close harmony in the country blues cut "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?" shines through in the featured song with Bonnie Raitt -- produced by Phil Ramone, it is a great mix of vocals and blues guitar. Ray first did the song at the beginning of his career. There's a changeup from country in the old Eddy Arnold standard, "You Don't Know Me" with Ray and Diana Krall. Ray first did it in 1962, and the song is made richer with the jazzy counterpoint of Krall's flawless voice--another contribution from Phil Ramone. And starting the album, Ray collaborates with a relative newcomer, Norah Jones, in his 1967 blues hit - "Here We Go Again". The song is strong throughout, but fades a bit at the end where Ray and Norah struggle trying to mix harmony. Preston's contribution on the Hammond B3 is flawless in this collaboration.
Even better than being asked to work with Ray on one of his own songs is the honor of having Ray want to sing one of yours in a duet. Ray introduced and inducted masterful songwriter Van Morrison into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in the summer of 2003, and their resulting duet, to Morrison's "Crazy Love" (from his amazing album, "Moondance") kick started the whole duet album concept. It is the only live performance on the CD, and it amazes in that Morrison completely changes his approach to the song given the way that Ray begins it. A flawless exercise (again, with Ramone producing) in musicianship!
Another pop icon, Elton John, contributed the last song recorded, and the one where Ray's voice is the most feeble, but yet haunting. True to form, his lead in the song gives Elton John an opportunity to sing his part in a completely different manner than his original recording. The song is silk, with a full string accompaniment and a brooding, sultry feel that is perfect for both.
The third artist who contributed a song and a duet is the wonderful James Taylor. I've never been a fan of his ditty, "Sweet Potato Pie", and although it seems a logical choice for he and Ray -- it is one of only three "passable" songs.
The other two songs that didn't quite cut it? Both are classics, and in both, Ray works with another genius. Unfortunately, both songs are overproduced and the mix of styles and voices doesn't work well. With Johnny Mathis in "Over the Rainbow" -- Ray can't get Johnny to leave the standard melody and presentation of the old song. Ray's bluesy counterpoint doesn't blend well, and the song is regrettably, just ordinary. One can't help but contrast it to the amazing Eva Cassidy version of the same song. Perhaps the weakest duet on the album is a contrast in style and song, with Willie Nelson on the Sinatra standard, "It Was A Very Good Year". In an overblown, orchestra-laden approach, arranger Victor Vanacore leaves you feeling the production had nothing to do with the singers....it was a la Sinatra. Either Ray or Willie could have done a credibly different version of the song as a solo, but together, the mix didn't work.
One of Ray's favorite songs was a 60's pop tune called "Hey Girl"...wisely, he performs with a king of blue-eyed soul, Michael McDonald. Strangely, Ray takes the high part, and McDonald, known for his incredible range in the high register, gets to exercise his lower range, although at one point, he lets his pipes fly. With a full power orchestra, this song works, and the playful, tongue in cheek way in which Ray approaches it, makes it a highlight.
But, saving the best for last, the only real jazz combination on the CD is Ray's duet with Natalie Cole on the classic, "Fever". They are smooth as velvet and in perfect combination on the song. "Fever" is known as a jazz torch song for a woman, but somehow, this duet, more playful and and unique than any version I've heard, is my favorite of all the songs on the CD.
So, 9 great collaborations, and some exceptional liner notes and photos of Ray's last days ...far away offset a few of the lesser notes on this, the last effort of one of the finest performers of the last century.

Edgar Winter - Jazzin' The Blues






















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01 - Edgar Winter - Jazzin' The Blues
02 - Edgar Winter - Free Ride (Smooth)
03 - Edgar Winter - God Did It
04 - Edgar Winter - New Man
05 - Edgar Winter - More Than Enough (Alien Blues)
06 - Edgar Winter - Brother Luke
07 - Edgar Winter - Hunk O' Da Funk
08 - Edgar Winter - Big Bad Bottom
09 - Edgar Winter - Here's 2 Guitars
10 - Edgar Winter - Keys To The Kingdom
11 - Edgar Winter - Frankenstein (Frankie Swings)
Probably the most conclusive answer to the frequently asked question about the meaning and content of his songs is provided by Edgar Winter himself when he simply replies: “I let my music speak for itself”. All-embracing and self-explanatory as this statement may sound, his current album Jazzin’ The Blues still calls for a few footnotes. Two things should be said in advance to clarify the artistic approach of the new tracks. 1st: jazz and blues were Edgar Winter’s first loves. It was never the attempt to attract girls or a desire for fame and fortune that fuelled Winter’s development into a passionate musician, but purely his enthusiasm for these two genres. 2nd: even on his 1999 album, Winter Blues, Winter didn’t restrict himself to performing blues standards or classics – instead he took a critical look at the natural evolution of this music and its many facets, mainly R&B, gospel, soul, jazz, rock, pop and country. And that’s exactly where his new album takes up.
“Jazzin’ The Blues is the next step in a logical development,” Winter points out. “It’s based on the same working concept as Winter Blues, but branches out into jazz. In the process, it touches on the roots of twelve-time blues and evolves into swing, be-bop, funk and fusion. I played my usual range of instruments – various kinds of synthesizers, keyboards, pianos, organs and basses, as well as my main instrument, the alto sax, and occasionally a tenor saxophone. I think it’s very important to find a balance between extensive solos and vocal parts to keep the interest of a broader audience alive.”
One look at the list of guests involved shows just how serious Winter is about his latest project. Like Winter Blues, Jazzin’ The Blues also presents an illustrious list of top musicians, among them the guitarists Steve Lukather (Toto) and Hiram Bullock, bassist Will Lee, the drummers Gregg Bissonette and Rick Latham and trumpet player Lee Thornburg. Together they make the 11 current songs an exciting excursion into different spheres of jazz and blues, complete with haunting solo parts. Once again, the lyrics touch on personal and slightly bizarre subjects, treated in Winter’s inimitable style. Says Winter: “These are true songs with definite statements, messages, characters, personalities and attitudes. They’re interwoven with my occasionally subtle, occasionally eccentric sense of humour. I had plenty of fun with them and feel that they’ll cause a lot of laughter. By the way, they tell their own stories, so you have to pay attention when you listen to them.”
Edgar Winter was born in Beaumont, Texas, on December 28, 1946, as the son of a plantation owner. His brother is the legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter. Following countless gigs in Texan nightclubs, Edgar Winter brought out his debut, Entrance, in 1970, followed by a succession of acknowledged album releases, among them the amazing live recording, Roadwork (1972), or the surprisingly tough rock opus, Standing On Rock (1981), the versatile The Real Deal (1996) and the programmatic Winter Blues (1999). During the Seventies, he also released the hit singles ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Easy Street’, worked with Todd Rundgren, Meat Loaf and Tina Turner (on her The Best album) in the Eighties and was involved in a number of his brother’s releases.
Jazzin’ The Blues proves that Winter has successfully managed the balancing act between present and past, including exciting, even forward-looking new elements into his music at the same time – partly thanks to his renowned colleagues, who were involved in the realisation of his latest offering. “My greatest respect and deepest thanks go out to all those who helped me record this album. Whether you call it jazz, blues or simply music, it was great to do something like this just for fun.” The pleasure is entirely with the listener...