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Thursday, August 31, 2006

John Mayer - Continuum[2006 - 256] (First Listen)

This was ripped from digital radio at high quality. John Mayer himsel is the DJ and he talks about the songs in between tracks which are played in itheir entirety.

This title will be released on September 12, 2006
Continuum is about as apt a title as it gets for John Mayer's third studio disc. Every element, from the peerless guitar playing to the plainspoken poetry of the lyrics to the breathy-sincere singing, makes a return from previous efforts. But to weakly pronounce this another worthwhile effort from an artist the world has come to expect a whole lot from and then call it a day would be no minor misdeed, because it's also the best, boldest disc he's ever made. Taking maturity as a theme throughout, Mayer tackles a batch of adulthood's bogeymen: indifference on the uptempo chart-climber "Waiting for the World to Change," aging on the melancholy-sweet "Stop This Train," and emotional trainwreckage on the big-rocking "In Repair." That's not to suggest he's turned overly introspective--check the Jimi Hendrix cover "Bold As Love," where he hits one home for guitarists who've been living in the shadow of legend everywhere, and the hard-charging "Belief," which benefits from a mesmerizing, liquid groove. Continuum may be the third in a series, but a creative cop-out this is not; Mayer is his generation's musical superman--powerful, unassailable, and magnetic. Hand that man a cape. --Tammy La Gorce

Product Description
John Mayer's third studio album follows the multi-platinum "Room for Squares" (2001) and "Heavier Things" (2003), and marks his first turn as producer. It is his most soulful, cohesive collection yet and he says it's no accident that this project is where all of his efforts, his potential, and his disparate influences fully come together.

1. Waiting On The World To Change
2. I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)
3. Belief
4. Gravity
5. The Heart Of Life
6. Vultures
7. Stop This Train
8. Slow Dancing In A Burning Room
9. Bold As Love
10. Dreaming With A Broken Heart
11. In Repair
12. I'm Gonna Find Another You

Other pertinent info in comments

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Harry Nilsson-A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night-1973-320kb

Reviewer: David Pearlman "sound fanatic" (Arlington, MA United States)

When this album was released in the early '70s--a collection of songs that were already decades old, carefully arranged by Sinatra's best ballad arranger Gorden Jenkins--it wasn't clear if this was intended as a loving tribute or an ironic statement. Coming from then poster boy for hip music lovers and years before this type of record would be popularized by people like Linda Ronstadt, and in light of Nilsson's well-known sense of humor, it just seemed this couldn't be serious.Or could it?
Well, the truth is, it doesn't matter. Because context becomes irrelevant over time, and what's left is the music. And, what beautiful music it is. Tremendously well-chosen standards from throughout the first half of the 20th century, tremendously well orchestrated by a master, and sung with passion AND precision by a man of great vocal talent. Who cares what anyone was thinking? All you ever need to know is on the record.
Time has only been kind to this album, and to these ears it has dated not a whit in the more than quarter century since it was released. Perhaps because it was never of its time in the first place. Lush romantic music from a happier, simpler time--something we all need.

1. Lazy Moon
2. For Me And My Gal
3. It Had To Be You
4. Always
5. Makin' Whoopee!
6. You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want To Do It)
7. Lullaby In Ragtime
8. I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now
9. What I'll Do
10. Nevertheless (I'm In Love With You)
11. This Is All I Ask
12. As Time Goes By

Link and pass in comments section.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Essential Alice in Chains 2 CDs [2006 ]

This title will be released on September 5, 2006

The Essential Alice in Chains is the 2 disc compilation album by Alice in Chains. It was originally to be released on March 30, 2004 but was elayed. It will now be released on September 5, 2006.In many ways, Alice in Chains was the definitive heavy metal band of the early ’90s. Drawing equally from the heavy riffing of post-Van Halen metal and the gloomy strains of post-punk, the band developed a bleak, nihilistic sound that balanced grinding hard rock with subtly textured acoustic numbers. They were hard enough for metal fans, yet their dark subject matter and punky attack placed them among the front ranks of the Seattle-based grunge bands. While this dichotomy helped the group soar to multi-platinum status with their second album, 1992’s Dirt, it also divided them.Guitarist Jerry Cantrell always leaned toward the mainstream, while vocalist Layne Staley was fascinated with the seamy underground.Such tension drove the band toward stardom in their early years,but following Dirt, Alice in Chains suffered from near-crippling internal tensions that kept the band off the road for the remainder of the ’90s and, consequently, the group never quite fulfilled their potential.

Staley formed the initial incarnation of the band while in high school in the mid-’80s, naming the group Alice N Chains. Staley met Cantrell in 1987 at the Seattle rehearsal warehouse the Music Bank and the two began working together, changing the group’s name to Alice in Chains. Cantrell’s friends Mike Starr (bass) and Sean Kinney (drums) rounded out the lineup,and the band began playing local Seattle clubs. Columbia Records signed the group in 1989 and the label quickly made the band a priority, targeting heavy metal audiences. Early in 1990, the label released the We Die Young EP as a promotional device and the song became a hit on metal radio,setting the stage for the summer release of the group’s debut,Facelift. Alice in Chains supported the album by opening for Van Halen, Poison, and Iggy Pop, and it became a hit, going gold by the end of the year. As the band prepared their second album, they released the largely acoustic EP Sap in 1991 to strong reviews.Prior to the release of Alice in Chains’ second album, Seattle became a media sensation thanks to the surprise success of Nirvana.As a result, Alice was now marketed as an alternative band, not as a metal outfit, and the group landed a song, the menacing “Would?,”on the Singles soundtrack during the summer of 1992. “Would?” helped build anticipation for Dirt, the group’s relentlessly bleak second album that was released in the fall of 1992 to very good
reviews. Following its release, Starr left and was replaced by Mike Inez. Dirt went platinum by the end of 1992, but its gloomy lyrics launched many rumors that Staley was addicted to heroin. Alice in Chains soldiered on in the face of such criticism, performing successfully on the third Lollapalooza tour in 1993, which helped Dirt reach sales of three million.

The band released the low-key EP Jar of Flies in early 1994. It debuted at number one upon its release, becoming the first EP to top the album charts. Despite the band’s continued success, they stayed off the road, which fueled speculation that Staley was mired in heroin addiction. Later that year, Staley did give a few concerts as part of the Gacy Bunch, a Seattle supergroup also featuring Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, the Screaming Trees’ Barrett Martin, and John Saunders. The group subsequently renamed itself Mad Season and released Above in early 1995. Later that year, Alice in Chains re-emerged with an eponymous third album, which debuted at number one on the American charts. Again, the band chose not to tour, which launched yet another round of speculation that band was suffering from various addictions and were on the verge of disbanding. The group did give one concert — their first in three years — in 1996, performing for an episode of MTV Unplugged, which was released as an album that summer. Despite its success, the album did nothing to dispel doubts about the group’s future and neither did Cantrell’s solo album, Boggy Depot, in 1998. Cantrell basically released Boggy Depot because he couldn’t get Staley to work, but its very existence — and the presence of Inez
and Kinney on the record, not to mention Alice producer Toby Wright — seemed to confirm that the group was on moratorium at best,defunct at worst. Staley, for his part, stayed quiet, conceding his spot on Mad Season’s second album to Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan. In 1999, Sony put together a three-disc Alice in Chains box set, Music Bank, divided between the group’s best work and assorted rarities. At the turn of the new millennium, Columbia Records issued Live, which plucked material from bootlegs, demos,and festival shows covering the years 1990, 1993, and 1996. As if the group hadn’t been repackaged as many times as possible with its limited repertoire, a ten-track best-of set, Greatest Hits, appeared in July 2001. With no sign of the group reclaiming their spot atop the alt-metal heap (and such copycat acts as Godsmack, Days of the New, Puddle of Mudd, and Creed taking the Alice in Chains formula to the top of the charts), Cantrell completed his sophomore solo effort, Degradation Trip, in 2002.But just two months before the album’s release, in April 2002, the news that every Alice in Chains fan had been fearing for years had finally come to pass: Layne Staley was found dead due to a lethal overdose of cocaine and heroin. Although understandably grief-stricken, Cantrell launched his solo album’s supporting tour according to schedule, opting to open shows in the summer for another Alice in Chains-influenced band, Nickelback.

Track List: CD #1/2
01. We Die Young 2:32
02. Man In The Box 4:46
03. Sea Of Sorrow 5:50
04. Love, Hate, Love 6:28
05. Am I Inside 5:09
06. Brother 4:28
07. Got Me Wrong 4:11
08. Right Turn 3:14
09. Rain When I Die 6:03
10. Them Bones 2:30
11. Angry Chair 4:49
12. Dam That River 3:10
13. Dirt 5:16
14. God Smack 3:50
15. Hate To Feel 5:16
16. Rooster 6:16

Track List: CD #2/2
01. No Excuses 4:16
02. I Stay Away 4:14
03. What The Hell Have I (Remix) 3:54
04. A Little Bitter (Remix) 3:48
05. Grind 4:46
06. Heaven Beside You 5:29
07. Again 4:05
08. Over Now (Unplugged Version) 5:57
09. Nutshell (Unplugged Version) 4:32
10. Get Born Again 5:24
11. Died 5:57
12. Would? 3:28

Other pertinent infoin comments

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bob Dylan - Modern Times [2006]

This title will be released on August 29, 2006.

His first new album in 5 years featuring 10 new songs

Track Listings
1. Thunder On The Mountain
2. Spirit On The Water
3. Rollin' and Tumblin'
4. When The Deal Goes Down
5. Someday Baby
6. Workingman's Blues #2
7. Beyond The Horizon
8. Nettie Moore
9. The Levee's Gonna Break
10. Ain't Talkin'

Other pertinent info in comments

Iron Maiden - A Matter of Life and Death

This title will be released on September 5, 2006.

1. Different World
2. These Colours Don't Run
3. Brighter Than a Thousand Suns
4. Pilgrim
5. Longest Day
6. Out of the Shadows
7. Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
8. For the Greater Good of God
9. Lord of Light
10. Legacy



Wednesday, August 23, 2006

INXS - Live Baby Live

By 1991 Inxs was long overdue for a live album. The band had been riding a steady wave of growth in the 1980s on their first six albums (The self-titled "Inxs" through 1987's "Kick"). Although their seventh album "X" didn't do as well as its predecessor ("Kick"), Inxs was still one of the top acts in the world. Thus, it would make sense for Inxs to release a live album. This 1991 effort was called "Live Baby Live". Although it isn't necessarily the perfect live album, this collection does show you what an incredible live band Inxs was. The bottom line is that this album will entertain you.

One fact that I find amazing about Inxs is that this six member band stuck together from their formation in the late 1970s through Michael Hutchence's untimely death in 1997. During this period, the band would release 10 studio albums, 1 Greatest Hits album, and 1 Live album. This has allowed the band to meld together and grow professionally. Much of this is due to the fact that three band members are brothers: Andrew Farriss (Keyboards), Jon Farriss (Drums), and Tim Farriss (Guitar). The other three members also stuck tightly with the band the whole way. These members include: Michael Hutchence (Lead Vocals), Garry Gary Beers (Bass), and Kirk Pengilly (Guitar and Sax). Hutchence - known for his long hair and theatrical performances in concert often gets the most publicity. But the remaining five members all make major contributions from a musicianship standpoint. Hutchence proves is not just eye candy, he plays a key role in the songwriting. On "Live Baby Live" you will hear outstanding performances by all - but ultimately I do think it is Kirk's saxophone and Jon Farriss' drums that are going to stand out.

On "Live Baby Live", there are 15 live numbers and one studio song. The live songs are divided among five Inxs albums with an emphasis on the latter works: "Shabooh Shoobah" (1 song), "The Swing" (1 song), "Listen Like Thieves" (3 songs), "Kick" (6 songs), and "X" (4 songs). There is also one very good studio song - "Shining Star". "Live Baby Live" is produced by Mark Opitz. Opitz produced their 1982 effort "Shabooh Shoobah" that began to launch momentum for the band early in their career. Chris Thomas had been the producer for the last three albums - that were the most commercially successful (that included some of their best critical acclaim), yet Inxs chose to reach "back to the past" by bringing Opitz back.

From a musical standpoint, this album is excellent. There are no complaints about how good the performances are on this collection. However, "Live Baby Live" makes a cardinal mistake that many live collections make. Instead of including the performances from a single night, they take a compilation of live performances from various tours. By having a compilation of live songs as opposed to a live concert, the flow is disrupted. While I can understand the rationale for taking the best live performances, there are some problems. These problems are that you don't an opportunity to hear the CD as if it were concert preventing you from getting the full Inxs experience. There is something magical about hearing a great performance on a single night. For "Live Baby Live", the live performances were taken from 15 places (Paris, New York, Chicago, London, Dublin, Glasgow, Rio de Janiero, Montreal, Spain, Switzerland, Melbourne, Sydney, Philadelphia, and Las Vegas). Usually I have found live compilations don't work. Albums like this (such as Bon Jovi's "One Wild Night") are usually not that good. However, this collection does seem to overcome this. Some people have knocked "Live Baby Live" because they felt it was too choppy in terms of how it was assembled. I disagree - other albums have done this a lot worse (again I'll point out Bon Jovi's "One Wild Night"). For the most part, the production effort does seem able to overcome this. The exception to the rule is the inclusion of the studio track "Shining Star" as the fifth track. This should have been saved for the first or last track because it does disrupt the flow of the performances. A final note on this - Inxs did release a video version of "Live Baby Live" that takes place all in London. I would have basically liked to have seen this performance in its entirety and in order on this collection.

Another note is that I usually prefer my live albums to be in the order in which the concert was delivered. I do believe the order was slightly changed. for this. A final note on this - Inxs did release a video version of "Live Baby Live" that takes place all in London. I would have basically liked to have seen this performance in its entirety and in order on this collection.

Not all is bad news. This is one incredible album. There are some great highlights. Inxs getting the crowd to sing along with "Mystify" is amazing. I'm very happy they included live versions of some underrated songs like "The Stairs", "Mediate" (they do this as a follow-up to "Need You Tonight"), "Hear that Sound", "One x One", and "Burn For You". The strongest performances are "The Stairs" (Hutchence goes to the crowd - "How ya doing"), "Hear That Sound", and "Need You Tonight". I always thought "Need You Tonight" was an average song, but the live version blows you away.

The lyrics are not included (typically aren't for live albums, but it would have been nice for the new song). They also don't tell you what songs came from what location. If they had put this performance from a single night in sequence order, this collection would have a most magical effort. However, Inxs is still a first rate live band and this collection reflects that. Despite these quirks, I do think this is a terrific album and it is highly recommended.

1. New Sensation
2. Guns In The Sky
3. Mystify
4. By My Side
5. Shining Star
6. Need You Tonite
7. Mediate
8. One X One
9. Burn For You
10. The One Thing
11. This Time
12. The Stairs
13. Suicide Blonde
14. Hear That Sound
15. Never Tear Us Apart
16. What You Need

Other pertinent info in comments



Monday, August 21, 2006

The Fray - How to Save a Life

Denver-based band the Fray was formed in 2002 by Isaac Slade (vocals, piano) and Joe King (guitar, vocals) when the two former school friends met up again in a local music store. They soon began regular two-man jam sessions that led to writing songs and devising a style pitched between the arena-friendly style of U2 and the authentic rock of bands like Counting Crows. Rounding out the lineup with two former bandmates of Slade's drummer Ben Wysocki and guitarist Dave Welsh, the Fray began playing shows in the Denver area. Their popularity grew quickly and their first demo recordings became local radio faves and the band was voted Best New Band by Denver's Westword Magazine. This all led to them being signed by Epic Records in 2004. Their debut album, How to Save a Life, was released in September of 2005.

Album Review
On their full-length debut, Denver quartet the Fray don't exactly reinvent the wheel, but those looking for melodic, mid-tempo pop could do far worse. That said, the 12 songs on Top 40 hit How To Save a Life are barely distinguishable from each other. If you like one, you'll probably like the rest (and you'll be in the company of thousands of other listeners.) If you don't like one, it's unlikely the others will change your mind. Formed in 2002 and signed by Epic in 2004, the band consists of Isaac Slade (vocals, piano), Joe King (guitar, vocals), Ben Wysocki (drums), and Dave Welsh (guitar). Since their formation, the Fray have elicited comparisons to British groups like Coldplay and Keane, and American ones like Counting Crows and the Wallflowers. They've also toured with Weezer and Ben Folds and had songs--like first single "Over My Head (Cable Car)"--featured on such popular programs as Grey's Anatomy. Though they incorporate guitar, unlike Keane, Slade's expert piano playing is prominent on every track. To his credit, he can also hit the high notes just as gracefully as Coldplay's Chris Martin, but therein lies the rub: As with the band as a whole, Slade hasn't quite found his own voice yet. How To Save a Life is polished and professional, bland and inoffensive. It goes down easy, but evaporates into the ether just as quickly. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Similar Acts
* The Wallflowers
* Third Eye Blind
* Counting Crows
* Landon Pigg
* Making April
* Denver Harbor
* Jimmy Eat World
* Coldplay
* Something Corporate
* Jack's Mannequin

Similar Titles
* Under the Iron Sea ~ Keane
* Fray [Import] ~ Fray
* Let Love In ~ The Goo Goo Dolls
* Plans ~ Death Cab for Cutie
* Eyes Open ~ Snow Patrol
* A Fever You Can't Sweat Out ~ Panic! At The Disco
* Daniel Powter ~ Daniel Powter
* Back to Bedlam [Explicit Lyrics] ~ James Blunt


1. She Is
2. Over My Head
3. How To Save a Life
4. All At Once
5. Fall Away
6. Heaven Forbid
7. Look After You
8. Hundred
9. Vienna
10. Dead Wrong
11. Little House
12. Trust Me

Other pertinent info in comments

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ottmar Liebert - Nouveau Flamenco 1990-2000 Special Edition 2000

This is where it all began. Ten years ago, Ottmar Liebert brought flamenco music to the world with a new style of playing he dubbed, appropriately, nouveau flamenco. Ten years later, despite such adventurous CDs as Opium and The Hours Between Night and Day, Nouveau Flamenco remains his most popular CD. The reasons are obvious. Although Liebert is a technically gifted player, he lets the melodies of his flamenco-inspired tunes ring out over his own virtuosity. That's what makes songs like "Barcelona Nights" and "Sante Fe" so memorable. Nouveau Flamenco spawned countless imitators, some of them even very good, but this CD instantly reveals why Liebert has managed to be the top-of-the-brain name for modern flamenco music. On Nouveau Flamenco: 1990-2000, they've remixed everything, extended some tracks out a bit and brought in five additional pieces recorded at the same time as the original CD. The resequencing may throw off your memories of the original, and the mix here tends to be thinner and less reverberant, but one decade and millions of CD sales later, Nouveau Flamenco still lives up to its title. --John Diliberto
This special edition of NOUVEAU FLAMENCO has been digitally remastered, contains new mixes and features five previously unreleased tracks. Personnel: Ottmar Liebert (Flamenco guitar, keyboards); Jon Gagan (bass); Jeff Sussmann (percussion). Recorded at Pyramid Sound, Santa Fe, New Mexico in January 1989 and Stepbridge Studios, Santa Fe, New Mexico in May 1989. Includes liner notes by Ottmar Liebert, Keith, and Kent Zimmerman. NOUVEAU FLAMENCO, Ottmar Liebert's debut album, was a tremendous success upon its release in 1990; it went platinum, and paved the way for Liebert's popularity in both the New Age and mainstream markets. On the tenth anniversary of the album, Higher Octave Records remixed, remastered, and rereleased NOUVEAU FLAMENCO, adding five previously unreleased tracks. Higher Octave's re-release testifies to the strength of the album's original vision, and establishes its legacy for the years to come. To his talents as a traditional flamenco guitarist Liebert adds touches of world music (light, Latin beats characterize much of the album), jazzy flourishes, and a sense of pop accessibility. As an instrumentalist Liebert is smooth and sensual, coaxing subdued, passionate melodies from his acoustic with elegance and feeling. While flamenco purists might take issue with Liebert's cross-cultural, commercial take on the genre, Liebert has the distinction of introducing the music's vocabulary to mainstream America. The re-issue of NOUVEAU FLAMENCO is a fine example of the artist's sultry craft.
Celebrating ten years of Ottmar Liebert's "Nouveau Flamenco," featuring different mixes and fivepreviously unreleased tracks from the original recording sessions. The classic album that defined anew category of music.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Charlie Parker - Jam Session 1952 @320

Personnel: Charlie Parker, Benny Carter, Johnny Hodges (alto saxophone); Flip Phillips, Ben Webster (tenor saxophone); Charlie Shavers (trumpet); Oscar Peterson (piano); Barney Kessel (guitar); Ray Brown (bass); J.C. Heard (drums). Recorded in Hollywood, California in June, 1952. Orginally released on Verve (8002). Originally released as NORMAN GRANZ'S JAM SESSIONS #1 AND #2. JAM SESSION was compiled from a 1952 jam session which brought together three of history's greatest alto saxophonists; Parker, Johnny Hodges and Benny Carter, as well as Ben Webster and Flip Phillips on tenor sax. Orchestrated by Norman Granz to come as close to an authentic jam session as possible, this is the first of the Jazz at the Philharmonic series. The album includes an original blues tune ("Jam Blues"), a medley of ballads selected by each musician, and a mellow blues tune called "Funky Blues." The standard "What is This Thing Called Love," stands out particularly for its follow-the-leader style ending, with each musician trading fours. Interestingly, the meeting of these three greats, with their widely varying styles, results not in spectacular and fiercely competitive playing, but rather in a slight muting and sense of reserve from all three.
This is my favorite of Bird's all-star collaborations captured on Verve. Although the medley left me wanting more of each song,it is a stunning showcase for underrated trumpeter Charlie Shavers, and tenorist Flip Phillips. It also has more than enough thrills for devotees of Benny Carter, Ben Webster, Oscar Peterson, and especially Johnny Hodges. The highlight of the CD is the final selection, Funky Blues, a Hodges original. Bird offers one of his most penetrating,inventive, and unforgettable solos here. Although Funky Blues is a slow tune, the utter soul of Oscar's piano accompaniment always make my feet move. Hodges also soars,and concedes nothing in the soul department. It's a nice contrast to hear him in a context outside Duke Ellington's orchestra. This is a rousing, infectious CD, essential to any jazz collection.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Rico Garcia - The Beginning 2001

Rico Garcia Is an amazing percussionist that will light up your life with the sounds of fusion Jazz with a Latin backbeat. Garcia has performed with some of the best players including George Benson, Gregg Bissonette, Richard Elliot, Brandon Fields, Tom Brechtlein, Gary Willis, Mike Miller, Drummer Jerry Brown, David Garfield, Drummer Chuckie Morris of the Arsenio Hall show, and the late Sammy Davis Jr.
Rico Garcia is a well-recognized player in addition to an incredible songwriter. He's played in such popular Los Angeles Jazz clubs as The Baked Potato, Le Cafe, The golden Bear, Studio Cafe,The Coach House, and The Blues Cafe.
Rico Garcia's Fusion Jazz CD will take you on a musical journey like no other CD can. Rico is back in the studio working on his new CD. We hope you enjoy this CD because it truly is just " The Beginning"

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Chucho Valdes - Bele Bele en La Habana 1998 @320

01 - Chucho Valdes - Son Montuno.mp3
02 - Chucho Valdes - Lorraine.mp3
03 - Chucho Valdes - But Not For Me (Pero No Para Mi).mp3
04 - Chucho Valdes - Con Poco Coco (Without Much Thought).mp3
05 - Chucho Valdes - El Cumbanchero (The Rumba Dancer).mp3
06 - Chucho Valdes - Tres Lindas Cubanas.mp3
07 - Chucho Valdes - La Sitiera (The Small Farm).mp3
08 - Chucho Valdes - Los Caminos (The Pathways)

This music is from another universe. Its message is beyond what music can transmit. It's a diplomatic offer, which acoustically illustrates what music can do because it does not respect political borders. There is hardly any Latin element in the first track and I feel a bit lost hearing and trying to understand these pure jazz interpretations, which are technically first class. There is even no audience applause not a single moan of a lost jazz soul, who could share my solitude, when I start to hear this opus. Step to step as the tracks continue Chucho's Afro-Latin soul expands and I understand that this is an offer to the US and the remaining world of jazz. His arrangement tells me: "We come to you, start with your jazz elements and then go into Cuban Latin jazz. Do the same and come to us. Let's start interaction. !!!" When I reach to hear track number six I must cry because I am mentally in Cuba and I hear a music, which could have been played almost 30 years ago if the political scene would not have interrupted the intellectual and artistic exchange of fine arts between New York, Miami and Havana. But at the end of the preludium of track six (Tres Lindas Cubanas), on the border of suffering a concussion, a flying rumba, which would have probably taken my mind, Chucho tells my with a drumming staccato on his piano: "Hey, we are alive and this is real music and we tell you our story!!! What then comes is acoustical transcendence, it's a drug, which you are addicted instantly (Time from 6 July, 1998 "Don't even try to resist"). The torque of this sound even pulls the fattest dinosaurier out of the tropical mud ! I only can repeat: Do not even try to resist. This is highly contagious stuff and should be kept out of reach of sensible jazz hearts. It's the type of volatile stuff which should be kept well under lock and key and with a big sticker on it saying: Listen at your own risk !!!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Neal Schon & Jan Hammer - Untold Passion 1981 @320

Track List in Comments

Neil Schon (Journey) and Jan Hammer (Miami Vice Sdtk) "Untold Passion" 1981. The first collaboration between the two. Great music from an unlikely pairing of two talented musicians.

Neal Schon
Neal SchonAKA Neal Joseph Schon
Born: 27-Feb-1954
Birthplace: Midwest City, OK
Gender: Male
Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Musician
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Journey
Already possessed of a considerable skill on the guitar by his early teens, Neal Schon became a professional musician at the age of 15 when he joined Santana, dropping out of school to become a full-time member of the band. In the subsequent three years he would contribute to some of its most enduring material, including the signature tune Black Magic Woman. With the departure of Gregg Rolie after Santana's 1972 release Caravanserai, Schon also turned in his notice -- the two of them forming what was initially just a backing band for other performers, but soon became a self-contained unit. This new band, Journey, would evolve from the primarily instrumental material represented on its 1975 self-titled debut release to the stadium-filling anthem rock of Infinity in 1978.
While still a member of Journey, Schon began a collaborative relationship with former Mahavishnu Orchestra keyboardist Jan Hammer. Together they released the jazz-rock album Untold Passion in 1981, followed by the more lightweight effort Here to Stay in 1982, for which the duo was augmented by several of Schon's Journey bandmates. After peaking with Frontiers in 1983, Journey went on hiatus for the next few years, only briefly reuniting to record Only The Young for the soundtrack to the film Vision Quest. During this interval, Schon formed H.S.A.S., a short-lived collaboration with Sammy Hagar that yielded the album Through the Fire (1984). In 1986 Journey resumed activity and released Raised on Radio, but by 1988 the band had decided to split for good. The following year Schon began work on his first solo release Late Nite, and while in the final stages of recording was invited by former members of The Babys to join Bad English -- another arena rock outfit following the formula of the paricipants' previous work. Its self-titled first record was well-supported by the record-buying public, but poor response to its 1991 follow-up Backlash would spell the demise of the band.
In the early years of the 1990s, Schon reunited with Gregg Rolie to partcipate in his new group The Storm; he also briefly became a member of Hardline and released his second solo album, the acoustic Beyond the Thunder. The inevitable reunion of Journey took place in 1996, and, despite the unavailability of singer Steve Perry after 1998, the band has continued to be active since. Two further solo releases (1999's Pirhana Blues and 2001's Voice) have appeared concurrent with his band activity.
Father: Matthew Schon
Mother: Barbara Schon
Wife: Amber Kozan (m. 2001)
Son: Miles
Daughter: Sarah
Santana Guitarist 1971-73
Journey Guitarist 1973-88;1996-present
Bad English Guitarist 1989-91

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Stephen Stills-Stephen Stills 2-320kbs

Stephen Stills-Stephen Stills 2

Reviewer: Dave "missing person" (United States)

Much has been made about 1971's "Stephen Stills 2" being a major disappointment that suffers from egregious overproduction. Yes, this is a clear dropoff in quality from Stills' first solo album from 1970, but not a HUGE dropoff. Even with its flaws, this is still a solid effort.

"Nothin' To Do But Today" is a super fun, laidback country-blues rocker. The droning folk-tune "Know You Got To Run" is captivating and hypnotic. "Singin' Call" is a soothing acoustic ballad. "Marianne" is an irresistible, swinging pop-rocker graced by Stephen's excellent falsetto vocals. "Fishes And Scorpions" starts off ultra-dreamy, with its intertwining layers of reverb-laden guitar and Stephen's smooth vocals, and it works up to a fiery guitar solo. "Relaxing Town" rocks, although it has a sadly anti-climactic sudden ending. "Sugar Babe", extremely similar to the previous album's "Church (Part of Someone)", is well-written and effective in its own right, although marred by the excessive fuzz bass/ guitar.

In all likelihood, the most well-known/ well-remembered song from the album is the album-opener "Change Partners"--it's a nicely-melodic country pop-rocker, but it's a little overcooked, with disjointed shifts from the 3/4 verses to the 4/4 chorus. "Marianne", like "Change Partners", also reached the top 50 of the US Billboard Singles chart. But probably the second most well-known song here is the Dylan-esque "Word Game", which is a mixed bag--blatantly structured like "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)", Stephen resorts to misguided sloppy rambling, despite his fine, moody acoustic guitar backing.

Speaking of misguided... For whatever reason, Stills seems to have taken fancy to Chicago--the band that is--as evident by the three horn-soaked numbers "Open Secret", "Ecology Song", and "Bluebird Revisited", and considering Chicago's incredible lameness, this is a damn shame indeed. The horn arrangement on "Ecology Song" is laughably schlocky and obnoxious, sounding EXACTLY like late '60s/ early '70s Chicago, plus it's got an awful song-ending trumpet/ flugelhorn solo. The extended, conga-heavy instrumental coda on "Open Secret" is again unmistakeably reminiscent of contemporaneous Chicago; however, the main song portion of it is excellently-written and even moving, and thankfully doesn't suffer TOO badly from horn excess.

Stephen Stills was a real ambitious dude back in the early '70s, and although his ambitions didn't serve him as well on "Stephen Stills 2" as they had on its predecessor, this is still a strong collection with Stills' enormous talent very much in evidence.

1. Change Partners
2. Nothin' To Do But Today
3. Fishes And Scorpions
4. Sugar Babe
5. Know You Got To Run
6. Open Secret
7. Relaxing Town
8. Singin' Call
9. Ecology Song
10. Word Game
11. Marianne
12. Bluebird Revisited

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