Archive for March, 2011


In 1976, Yakhya Fall, who had joined Star Band (Star Band de Dakar) in 1970 but had a falling out with founder Ibra Kassé, started the group Starbund Numero Un along with other disgruntled former Star Band members. The new group was forced to drop the Star Band reference from its name. They kept the Numero Un, but changed it to English, initially releasing albums as Star Number One. Subsequent albums brought slight name changes to the group: Orchesta Number One de Dakar, Number One du Senegal, Number One, No. 1 De Dakar, and Starband Number One. Each of these variations may appear with abbreviated forms of “Number One” on different releases.

Founding members include Pape Seck, trumpeter Ali Penda N’Doye, and vocalists Mar Seck and Nicolas Menheim. The group’s sound is heavily influenced by Cuban music.
This album contains six songs of the orchestra in full bloom recorded in yet another Dakar night-club The Sahel (tracks 1,2, 3) and in the Barclay Studio in Paris (tracks 4,5,6). The rest (7,8 & 9) were taped during an unknown session. Included is the original “Maccaki”, which was a dance-samsh and was later recorded on the Stern´s production “Africando”. The lanst song on this album is “Walo”. Despite the poor sound quality, it´s on the album, because it was Papa Seck´s favorite. Papa Seck died in the winter of 1994/95 in a middle-class quarter of Dakar.

Tracklist:

(1) YORO 6:33
(2) MEDOUNE XULE 5:33
(3) NAFISSATU N’YAYE 4:17
(4) GUAJIRA VEN 5:13
(5) YAYE BOYE 5:12
(6) FARAN TAMBA 4:38
(7) MACAKKI 5:16
(8) YANGAAKE 5:38
(9) PARA VILLAS 5:44
(10) WALO 5:46

Dakar Sound Volume 6 – No. 1 de No. 1
(192 kbps, front cover included)

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Sun Ra was born on the planet Saturn, ages ago, and spent some time on earth using the power of music to demonstrate the virtues of discipline and harmony to members of this planet. Or, if you prefer a more straightforward approach to your musical biographies, Sun Ra was born Herman P. Blount in Birmingham, Alabama in 1914. Whichever way you choose to look at matters, some things are not in doubt : Sun Ra arrived on this planet via Birmingham on May 22, 1914, left this planet on May 30, 1993, and spent the majority of his time here working with groups of musicians to leave behind an amazingly large, diverse, diffuse, and beautiful catalogue of recordings and live performances the likes of which has never been seen before.

“Space Is the Place” is a wonderful 1972 recording with the ‘definitive’ version of the title track, and some very nice shorter pieces too. It provides an excellent introduction to Sun Ra ‘s vast free-form jazz catalog. Typical of many Sun Ra recordings, the program is varied; earthbound songs, like the swing number ‘Images’ and egyptian exotica piece ‘Discipline 33,’ fit right in with more space-age cuts, like the tumultuous ‘Sea of Sound’ and the humorous ‘Rocket Number Nine.’ Sun Ra fuses many of these styles on the sprawling title cut, as interlocking harmonies, african percussion, manic synthesizer lines, and joyous ensemble blowing all jell into some sort of church revival of the cosmos. Throughout the recording, Sun Ra displays his typically wide-ranging talents on space organ and piano, reed players John Gilmore and Marshall Allen contribute incisive and intense solos, and June Tyson masterfully leads the Space Ethnic Voices on dreamy vocal flights. This is a fine recording and a must for Sun Ra fans.

It is impossible, given the breadth and depth of Ra’s work, as well as the fact that most of the albums which he recorded are out-of-print and owned only by a select few collectors, to attempt to trace Ra’s career with any thoroughness in less than a hundred pages or so. You find some overview to Sun Ra’s life and music on http://www.furious.com/perfect/sunra.html and an interview with John F. Szwed about his superb Sun Ra biography “Space Is The Place” on http://www.furious.com/Perfect/sunra2.html

No link.

The London-based disc jockeys Justin Langlands and Dave Henley first met in 1986, at the peak of the house scene.

Under the moniker Blood Brothers they became stalwarts of the genre. Pressure Drop was born with the singles “Feeling Good” (Big World, 1990), “Back To Back” (Big World, 1990) and “Trancefusion” (Big World, 1990).

Here´s the single “My Friend” (from the album “Elusive”) with an expertly mix of dub, exotica, bebop and Ennio Morricone. Pure alienation!

No link.

The London-based disc jockeys Justin Langlands and Dave Henley first met in 1986, at the peak of the house scene.

Under the moniker Blood Brothers they became stalwarts of the genre. Pressure Drop was born with the singles “Feeling Good” (Big World, 1990), “Back To Back” (Big World, 1990) and “Trancefusion” (Big World, 1990).

Here´s the single “My Friend” (from the album “Elusive”) with an expertly mix of dub, exotica, bebop and Ennio Morricone. Pure alienation!

No link.

Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca (5 June 1898 – 19 August 1936) was a Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director. García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of ’27. He is believed to be one of thousands who were summarily shot by anti-communist death squads during the Spanish Civil War.

His collection “Poeta en Nueva York” (“A poet in New York”, published posthumously in 1942) explores alienation and isolation through some graphically experimental poetic techniques and was influenced by the Wall Street crash whichhe personally witnessed. This condemnation of urban capitalist society and materialistic modernity was a sharp departure from his earlier work and label as a folklorist

This album was released due to the fifth anniversary of his execution. It gatheres artist from different countrys to honour the great artist.

Tracklist:

1 – Take This Waltz (Leonard Cohen)
2 – Negres Els (Lluís Llach)
3 – Grid to Roma (Angelo Branduardi)
4 – Birth of Christ (Victor Manuel)
5 – Your Childhood in Menton (David Broza)
6 – Asesinato (Paco de Lucia and Pepe)
7 – The Dawn (and Chico Fagner)
8 – Blacks Dancing to Cuban Rhythms (Georges Moustaki and Mikis Theodorakis)
9 – Unsleeping City (Donovan)
10 – Kleines Gedicht Unendlich (Manfred Maurenbrecher)
11 – Oda a Walt Whitman (Patxi Andión)

VA – Poets In New York – Frederico Garcia Lorca
Thanks a lot to Nikos for this album!

Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca (5 June 1898 – 19 August 1936) was a Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director. García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of ’27. He is believed to be one of thousands who were summarily shot by anti-communist death squads during the Spanish Civil War.

His collection “Poeta en Nueva York” (“A poet in New York”, published posthumously in 1942) explores alienation and isolation through some graphically experimental poetic techniques and was influenced by the Wall Street crash whichhe personally witnessed. This condemnation of urban capitalist society and materialistic modernity was a sharp departure from his earlier work and label as a folklorist

This album was released due to the fifth anniversary of his execution. It gatheres artist from different countrys to honour the great artist.

Tracklist:

1 – Take This Waltz (Leonard Cohen)
2 – Negres Els (Lluís Llach)
3 – Grid to Roma (Angelo Branduardi)
4 – Birth of Christ (Victor Manuel)
5 – Your Childhood in Menton (David Broza)
6 – Asesinato (Paco de Lucia and Pepe)
7 – The Dawn (and Chico Fagner)
8 – Blacks Dancing to Cuban Rhythms (Georges Moustaki and Mikis Theodorakis)
9 – Unsleeping City (Donovan)
10 – Kleines Gedicht Unendlich (Manfred Maurenbrecher)
11 – Oda a Walt Whitman (Patxi Andión)

VA – Poets In New York – Frederico Garcia Lorca
Thanks a lot to Nikos for this album!

The opera, “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny” (“Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny”), is a razor-edged critique of capitalism, and considered by many to be the greatest collaboration between music composer Kurt Weill and playwright Bertolt Brecht. This political-satirical opera was first performed in Leipzig on 9 March 1930.

The libretto was mainly written in early 1927 and the music was finished in the spring of 1929, although both text and music were to be partly revised by the authors later. An early by-product, however, was the “Mahagonny-Songspiel”, sometimes known as “Das kleine Mahagonny”, a concert work for voices and small orchestra commissioned by the Deutsche Kammermusik Festival in Baden-Baden and premiered there on 18 July 1927. The ten numbers, which include the “Alabama Song” and “Benares Song”, were duly incorporated into the full opera. The opera had its premiere in Leipzig in March 1930 and played in Berlin in December of the following year. The opera was banned by the Nazis in 1933 and did not have a significant production until the 1960s.

Weill’s score uses a number of styles, including rag-time, jazz and formal counterpoint, notably in the “Alabama Song” (covered by multiple artists, notably The Doors and David Bowie). The lyrics for the “Alabama Song” and another song, the “Benares Song” are in English (albeit specifically idiosyncratic English) and are performed in that language even when the opera is performed in its original (German) language.

Here´s the recording with Lotte Lenya, Heinz Sauerbaum, Gisela Litz and the orchestra of the Norddeutsche Rundfunk, conducted by Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg and recorded in 1956 in Hamburg.
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Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht – Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny CD 1
Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht – Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny CD 2
(192 kbps, front cover included)

“Der Jasager” (literally “The Yes Sayer” also translated as “The Affirmer or He Said Yes”) is an opera (specifically a “Schuloper” or “school-opera”) by Kurt Weill to a German libretto by Bertolt Brecht (after Elisabeth Hauptmann’s translation from Arthur Waley’s English version of the Japanese Nō drama.

Its companion piece is “Der Neinsager” (“He Said No”) although Brecht’s other text was never set by Weill.
Weill also identifies the piece, following Brecht’s development of the experimental form, as a “Lehrstück”, or “learning-play”.

It was first performed in Berlin by students of the Akademie für Kirchen und Schulmusik at the Zentralinstitut für Erziehung und Unterricht on 23 June 1930 and broadcast simultaneously on the radio. It was successful and there were over 300 performances during the following three years.
Brecht subsequently revised the text twice, the final version, including Der Neinsager, being without music.

Here´s a recording from 1954 with Joseph Protschka as the boy and the “Düsseldorfer Kinderchor” and “Kammerorchester”, directed by Siegfried Kohler. Protschka was born in Prague on February 5, 1944. He exhibited talent as a child and thus sang in different performances of “Der Jasager”.

Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht – Der Jasager
(192 kbps, front cover included)

The third volume in the original Folkways series of albums by this master fingerpicker and acoustic music legend was actually pieced together from recordings made hither, thither, and yonder over nearly a decade.

From the first notes of the opening instrumental, “New Year’s Eve,” the listener will know they are in presence of greatness. The best way to describe her playing would perhaps be some kind of symbolic contrast to other well-known artists. For example, she is a Rembrandt painting while John Fahey is a picture postcard, no slight to Fahey intended.
Some might assume that it took ten years to put together a new Cotten album, but this decision most likely had more to do with the label’s scaredy-cat approach to marketing or producer Mike Seeger’s reputation for perfectionism, or both.
The latter trait was certainly one Cotten didn’t share, and the fact that so many different recordings were done in situations such as people’s living rooms is no surprise as the grand dame simply had to have a guitar in her hand whenever she sat down, and would often go home from a two or even three hour gig and play guitar all night in her motel room.
This album features several songs with lyrics by her granddaughter Johnine Rankin. It also came originally with an insert that despite a horribly Xeroxed cover picture has much to offer in the way of anecdotes and historical information as well as printed lyrics. She revives “Freight Train” here, but of more interest are numbers such as “Willie,” “Jenny,” and “Gaslight Blues,” all played with a delicate, precise touch, as if the guitar was speaking to her of its own power.
(224 kbps, front cover included)
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Max Hansen was born in Mannheim, Germany, but was raised by his step parents in Munich. His mother was a Danish Actress, Eva Haller, his father’s name was von Waldheim.

In his school days, he already sang at the Opera House, so he earned the nickname “The Little Caruso” (“Der kleine Caruso”). Later he studied Music and Voice and got a job at the “Simplizissimus Cabaret” in Munich. From 1914 he played operettas in Vienna and became a good friend of Franz Lehár. After that he worked in Berlin at the Metropole Theater and became there a superstar of operettas, revues, cabaret and radio.

He began acting in five silent films, from 1926 to 1928. His first talkie was “Wien, du Stadt der Lieder” (1930) (“Vienna, City of Song”) (1930). In 1932 he played opposite Gitta Alpar in “Die – oder keine” (1932) (“She, or Nobody”).

His career was brought to an abrupt end because of his Jewish origin but this was only a pretext. He attracted anger of the Nazis above all since he ridiculed Adolf Hitler as homosexual in his hit “Warst Du schon mal in mich verliebt?” in 1932.

Hansen went to Vienna in 1933 and continued to play in theaters. Only before the affiliation of Austria with the Deutsche Reich Hansen moved to Copenhagen. From there he appeared in scandinavian theaters and found work in the Sweden film business. In addition he wrote several songs under the pseudonymous “Sylvester”.
In 1951 Max Hansen returned to Germany for occasional stage engagements but he didn’t shoot films any longer.
He died in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1961.

Here´s a fine compilation with 40 tunes by Max Hansen:

CD 1: No link.
Max Hansen – Perlen der Kleinkunst CD 2
(192 kbps, cover art included)