Archive for February, 2014


Yes, Kurt Weill wrote more than the “Threepennies Opera” and Broadway songs. Symphonies for example. Some of you may want to check these out and discover another side to Kurt ‘September song’ Weill.

Weill´s first symphony may surprise listeners who mainly know him through his collaborations with Brecht, for the young composer was writing in a post-Wagnerian idion strongly reminiscent of Liszt, Strauss, mahler and ideed Schoenberg himself. In 1957, seven years after Weills death, the symphony was give its premiere, under the title “Berlin Symphony”, in a broadcast performance by the North-West German Radio Orchestra under Wilhelm Schüchter.

More than any other work, the second symphony marks a turning-point in Weill´s life. The first movement was completed, at least in sketch form, in Berlin in January 1933, and is thus very close in date to the last two stage works to be completed and performed in Germany, “Die Bürgschaft” and “Der Silbersee”. Weill put the finishing touches to the symphony in February 1934 in Louveciennes, a suburb of Paris, which became his first fixed abode while in exile. Weill´s second symphony may be seen as the reflection and sum of his musical and stylistic devolopment at that time.

This album was recorded in 1989 and 1990 with the Kracow Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Roland Bade.

Roland Bader (born 24 August 1938) is a German choral conductor and music director. He is the principal guest conductor of the Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra and the Opera Krakowska, officially authorized as representative for their guest performances in Germany and Switzerland.

Trackslist:

Sinfonie Nr. 1 ‘in einem Satz’ (1921)
1. Sinfonie Nr. 1 ‘in einem Satz’ (25:41)

Sinfonie Nr. 2 (1933-34)
2. I. Sostenuto – Allegro molto (9:22)
3. II. Largo (12:03)
4. III. Allegro vivace (6:29)

Kurt Weill – Symphonies No. 1 & No. 2 – Kracow Philharmonic Orchestra
(256 kbps, front cover included)

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Yes, Kurt Weill wrote more than the “Threepennies Opera” and Broadway songs. Symphonies for example. Some of you may want to check these out and discover another side to Kurt ‘September song’ Weill.

Weill´s first symphony may surprise listeners who mainly know him through his collaborations with Brecht, for the young composer was writing in a post-Wagnerian idion strongly reminiscent of Liszt, Strauss, mahler and ideed Schoenberg himself. In 1957, seven years after Weills death, the symphony was give its premiere, under the title “Berlin Symphony”, in a broadcast performance by the North-West German Radio Orchestra under Wilhelm Schüchter.

More than any other work, the second symphony marks a turning-point in Weill´s life. The first movement was completed, at least in sketch form, in Berlin in January 1933, and is thus very close in date to the last two stage works to be completed and performed in Germany, “Die Bürgschaft” and “Der Silbersee”. Weill put the finishing touches to the symphony in February 1934 in Louveciennes, a suburb of Paris, which became his first fixed abode while in exile. Weill´s second symphony may be seen as the reflection and sum of his musical and stylistic devolopment at that time.

This album was recorded in 1989 and 1990 with the Kracow Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Roland Bade.

Roland Bader (born 24 August 1938) is a German choral conductor and music director. He is the principal guest conductor of the Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra and the Opera Krakowska, officially authorized as representative for their guest performances in Germany and Switzerland.

Trackslist:

Sinfonie Nr. 1 ‘in einem Satz’ (1921)
1. Sinfonie Nr. 1 ‘in einem Satz’ (25:41)

Sinfonie Nr. 2 (1933-34)
2. I. Sostenuto – Allegro molto (9:22)
3. II. Largo (12:03)
4. III. Allegro vivace (6:29)

Kurt Weill – Symphonies No. 1 & No. 2 – Kracow Philharmonic Orchestra
(256 kbps, front cover included)

The day after Julie Wilson recorded her Stephen Sondheim songbook album for DRG Records, she went back into the recording studio and recorded her Kurt Weill songbook album. That may seem like rushing things, but when you’re 63 years old and you get your first recording contract in 26 years, why wait?

Certainly, Wilson is at least as familiar with Weill’s repertoire as she is with Sondheim’s, and certainly Weill (with his lyric collaborators) wrote as many songs well suited to her world-weary, seen-it-all nightclub persona as Sondheim has. From her choices, Wilson clearly is more comfortable with the Broadway Weill than the Berlin Weill, particularly with two of his shows of the ’40s, “Lady in the Dark” (lyrics by Ira Gershwin) and “One Touch of Venus” (lyrics by Ogden Nash).

Of the 18 songs in 14 tracks on the disc (three tracks are medleys of two or three songs), seven come from those two shows, among them standards like “Speak Low,” “That’s Him,” and “The Saga of Jenny,” but also relative obscurities such as “Foolish Heart” and “This Is New.” (It is surprising that Wilson passes over another “One Touch of Venus” evergreen, “I’m a Stranger Here Myself.”) Elsewhere, she plucks lesser-known songs from lesser-known Broadway shows like “Street Scene”, “Love Life”, and “The Firebrand of Florence”, giving a sense of Weill as largely a ballad-writing romantic. But she also delves into those songs about age and experience, presenting a female-oriented version of “September Song” from “Knickerbocker Holiday”, and the bitter torch song “Surabaya Johnny” from “Happy End”. The latter is one of the relatively few songs Weill wrote early in his career in Berlin with Bertolt Brecht that Wilson takes on; there are only four such tunes here. (Another surprising omission is “Pirate Jenny.”).

As ever, Wilson renders the lyrics knowingly in her half-spoken singing voice, while William Roy provides simple, lively piano accompaniment and occasionally jumps in to sing with her. She succeeds at presenting Weill in the guise of a nightclub sophisticate, but only by making a narrow selection of his catalog.     

Julie Wilson – Sings The Kurt Weill Songbook
(256 kbps, small front cover included)          

The day after Julie Wilson recorded her Stephen Sondheim songbook album for DRG Records, she went back into the recording studio and recorded her Kurt Weill songbook album. That may seem like rushing things, but when you’re 63 years old and you get your first recording contract in 26 years, why wait?

Certainly, Wilson is at least as familiar with Weill’s repertoire as she is with Sondheim’s, and certainly Weill (with his lyric collaborators) wrote as many songs well suited to her world-weary, seen-it-all nightclub persona as Sondheim has. From her choices, Wilson clearly is more comfortable with the Broadway Weill than the Berlin Weill, particularly with two of his shows of the ’40s, “Lady in the Dark” (lyrics by Ira Gershwin) and “One Touch of Venus” (lyrics by Ogden Nash).

Of the 18 songs in 14 tracks on the disc (three tracks are medleys of two or three songs), seven come from those two shows, among them standards like “Speak Low,” “That’s Him,” and “The Saga of Jenny,” but also relative obscurities such as “Foolish Heart” and “This Is New.” (It is surprising that Wilson passes over another “One Touch of Venus” evergreen, “I’m a Stranger Here Myself.”) Elsewhere, she plucks lesser-known songs from lesser-known Broadway shows like “Street Scene”, “Love Life”, and “The Firebrand of Florence”, giving a sense of Weill as largely a ballad-writing romantic. But she also delves into those songs about age and experience, presenting a female-oriented version of “September Song” from “Knickerbocker Holiday”, and the bitter torch song “Surabaya Johnny” from “Happy End”. The latter is one of the relatively few songs Weill wrote early in his career in Berlin with Bertolt Brecht that Wilson takes on; there are only four such tunes here. (Another surprising omission is “Pirate Jenny.”).

As ever, Wilson renders the lyrics knowingly in her half-spoken singing voice, while William Roy provides simple, lively piano accompaniment and occasionally jumps in to sing with her. She succeeds at presenting Weill in the guise of a nightclub sophisticate, but only by making a narrow selection of his catalog.     

Julie Wilson – Sings The Kurt Weill Songbook
(256 kbps, small front cover included)          

Sun Ra had only been heading his Arkestra for a couple of years when they recorded the 12 songs featured on this 1956 session. But while the arrangements, ensemble work, and solos are not as ambitious, expansive, or free-wheeling as they became on later outings, the groundwork was laid on such cuts as “India,” “Sunology,” and one of the first versions of “Blues at Midnight.” Ra’s band already had the essential swinging quality and first-class soloists, and he had gradually challenged them with compositions that did not rely on conventional hard bop riffs, chord changes, and structure but demanded a personalized approach and understanding of sound and rhythm far beyond standard thinking. You can hear in Ra’s solos and those of John Gilmore, Pat Patrick, Charles Davis, and others an emerging freedom and looseness which would explode in the future.        

“This 1956 album was out of this world! Sun Ra, a super talented pianist/composer played a big role in the Avant-Garde movement and was right there with Mingus, thinking “outside of the box” and taking risky improvised chances. The Jazz Con Class Radio listeners who never heard of Sun Ra will enjoy this mostly Hard Bop album very much but should learn more of his Avant-Garde albums that later followed. The ones who are very familiar with Sun Ra would be totally surprise to hear such a “down to earth” album from this “out of space” innovator. “Super-Sonic Jazz” is a collector’s item and every Jazz lover should have it in their collection along with all his other works. In my next to last post, I mentioned John Gilmore, who gave Coltrane saxophone lessons, is brilliant in this album. But then again, the whole band is great. Sun Ra’s belief that he was in contact with aliens from Saturn should not throw anyone off at all (Read biography below). This album will be featured for a week or so, check the schedule link for play times.” – Jazz Con Class Radio

Tracklist:

A1 India
A2 Sunology
A3 Advice To Medics
A4 Super Blonde
A5 Soft Talk
B1 Kingdom Of Not
B2 Portrait Of The Living Sky
B3 Blues At Midnight
B4 El Is A Sound Of Joy
B5 Springtime In Chicago
B6 Medicine For A Nightmare

Sun Ra – Supersonic Jazz (1956)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Sun Ra had only been heading his Arkestra for a couple of years when they recorded the 12 songs featured on this 1956 session. But while the arrangements, ensemble work, and solos are not as ambitious, expansive, or free-wheeling as they became on later outings, the groundwork was laid on such cuts as “India,” “Sunology,” and one of the first versions of “Blues at Midnight.” Ra’s band already had the essential swinging quality and first-class soloists, and he had gradually challenged them with compositions that did not rely on conventional hard bop riffs, chord changes, and structure but demanded a personalized approach and understanding of sound and rhythm far beyond standard thinking. You can hear in Ra’s solos and those of John Gilmore, Pat Patrick, Charles Davis, and others an emerging freedom and looseness which would explode in the future.        

“This 1956 album was out of this world! Sun Ra, a super talented pianist/composer played a big role in the Avant-Garde movement and was right there with Mingus, thinking “outside of the box” and taking risky improvised chances. The Jazz Con Class Radio listeners who never heard of Sun Ra will enjoy this mostly Hard Bop album very much but should learn more of his Avant-Garde albums that later followed. The ones who are very familiar with Sun Ra would be totally surprise to hear such a “down to earth” album from this “out of space” innovator. “Super-Sonic Jazz” is a collector’s item and every Jazz lover should have it in their collection along with all his other works. In my next to last post, I mentioned John Gilmore, who gave Coltrane saxophone lessons, is brilliant in this album. But then again, the whole band is great. Sun Ra’s belief that he was in contact with aliens from Saturn should not throw anyone off at all (Read biography below). This album will be featured for a week or so, check the schedule link for play times.” – Jazz Con Class Radio

Tracklist:

A1 India
A2 Sunology
A3 Advice To Medics
A4 Super Blonde
A5 Soft Talk
B1 Kingdom Of Not
B2 Portrait Of The Living Sky
B3 Blues At Midnight
B4 El Is A Sound Of Joy
B5 Springtime In Chicago
B6 Medicine For A Nightmare

Sun Ra – Supersonic Jazz (1956)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

The name of Oku Onuora, Jamaica’s best known dub poet, a notorious radical, criminal, and proud subversive, literally translates as fire in the desert and symbolizes the voice of the people.
<img src="http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_250/MI0001/682/MI0001682356.jpg?partner=allrovi.com&quot; width="201" height="201" alt="Echo" style=Considered the father of dub poetry, a combination of haunting dub melodies and spoken word, Oku Onora was born Orlando Wong. During his youth, he joined the fight against the racist, oppressive policies of the post-colonialists. A disciple of Negus, young Wong was known for his many wall slogans and his demonstratinons against police violence. Eventually mere protest was not enough for Wong and so he decided that he must use force to help things change. After arming himself with a gun, Onuroa became a “revolutionary adventurer.” After receiving a conviction for the armed robbery of a post office (he did this with the intent to use the money to help a struggling alternative school), Wong was sentenced to seven years in Jamaica’s General Penitentiary in 1970. But before they could send him there, Wong escaped by leaping out of a second story window. As he fled, he was shot five times in the arms, legs and chest by the police. A few days later he was captured. While in prison, Wong began lobbying for prison reform and thereby earning the label of agitator and security risk. It was there he began writing his poetry, something the prison officials considered subversive. Though they tried to ban his writing, it leaked out and was published in 1977 as “Echo” by Sangster books. The book caused a stir and inspired Wong to change his name to Oku Onura.

His first dub-poetry album, “Reflection in Red” on 56 Hope Road, came out in 1979 and was the first LP of its kind. He followed this up in 1984 with “Pressure Drop”, a full-length album that many consider a classic. It would be his last spoken-word album for nine years. In between then and 1993, he concentrated on writing plays and directing a drama company. He also performed live and toured. In 1990, Onura recorded “New Jerusalem Dub” a concept album that he called “poetry without words.” It was a slickly produced, high-tech, and somewhat experimental work that sought to expand the bounds of what constitutes reggae music. With 1993’s “Bus Out” Onuora returned to dub-poetry. This too was a themed work that decried racism and provided a strong call to immediate action against injustice and oppression. Though for him, it was a personally painful album to make, critics hailed it as revolutionary and one of his finest works.

Tracklist:

A Slum Dweller Declares
Dread Times
Sketches
Last Night
Pressure Drop
(Heathen) Let Wi Go
The Call
Beat Yuh Drums
Decolonization
Thinkin’
Change Yes Change

Oku Onuora & AK7 – Pressure Drop (1984)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

The name of Oku Onuora, Jamaica’s best known dub poet, a notorious radical, criminal, and proud subversive, literally translates as fire in the desert and symbolizes the voice of the people.
<img src="http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_250/MI0001/682/MI0001682356.jpg?partner=allrovi.com&quot; width="201" height="201" alt="Echo" style=Considered the father of dub poetry, a combination of haunting dub melodies and spoken word, Oku Onora was born Orlando Wong. During his youth, he joined the fight against the racist, oppressive policies of the post-colonialists. A disciple of Negus, young Wong was known for his many wall slogans and his demonstratinons against police violence. Eventually mere protest was not enough for Wong and so he decided that he must use force to help things change. After arming himself with a gun, Onuroa became a “revolutionary adventurer.” After receiving a conviction for the armed robbery of a post office (he did this with the intent to use the money to help a struggling alternative school), Wong was sentenced to seven years in Jamaica’s General Penitentiary in 1970. But before they could send him there, Wong escaped by leaping out of a second story window. As he fled, he was shot five times in the arms, legs and chest by the police. A few days later he was captured. While in prison, Wong began lobbying for prison reform and thereby earning the label of agitator and security risk. It was there he began writing his poetry, something the prison officials considered subversive. Though they tried to ban his writing, it leaked out and was published in 1977 as “Echo” by Sangster books. The book caused a stir and inspired Wong to change his name to Oku Onura.

His first dub-poetry album, “Reflection in Red” on 56 Hope Road, came out in 1979 and was the first LP of its kind. He followed this up in 1984 with “Pressure Drop”, a full-length album that many consider a classic. It would be his last spoken-word album for nine years. In between then and 1993, he concentrated on writing plays and directing a drama company. He also performed live and toured. In 1990, Onura recorded “New Jerusalem Dub” a concept album that he called “poetry without words.” It was a slickly produced, high-tech, and somewhat experimental work that sought to expand the bounds of what constitutes reggae music. With 1993’s “Bus Out” Onuora returned to dub-poetry. This too was a themed work that decried racism and provided a strong call to immediate action against injustice and oppression. Though for him, it was a personally painful album to make, critics hailed it as revolutionary and one of his finest works.

Tracklist:

A Slum Dweller Declares
Dread Times
Sketches
Last Night
Pressure Drop
(Heathen) Let Wi Go
The Call
Beat Yuh Drums
Decolonization
Thinkin’
Change Yes Change

Oku Onuora & AK7 – Pressure Drop (1984)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Maybe history will remember Miriam Makeba mostly for her activist triumphs. When it came to her music many of her obituaries dwelled on her two most famous songs, “Pata Pata” and “The Click Song,” and mentioned little else. But just as she was an important activist, in many places Makeba was as ubiquitous a pop presence as Louis Armstrong. Accordingly, she has left a huge body of recordings – including 28 studio and live albums, eight greatest hits compilations, and scores of videotaped live performances – that can be mined for lesser-known gems

The out of print RCA Victor LP “Makeba Sings” was released the same year as the Grammy-winning “An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba”. “Makeba Sings” finds the bold singer in a relatively straightforward context, delivering heartwarming tunes with fluttering tropical arrangements, the kind typically reserved for Disney scores. What peels this LP away from the bland conventions of retro calypso and exotica is Makeba’s searing voice, which spans at least three languages in 35 minutes and imbues captivating tracks like “Cameroon” and “Kilimanjaro” with an almost startling intensity.

Tracklist:

Cameroon
Woza
Little Bird
Chove-Chuva
Same Moon
Kilimanjaro
Khawuyani-Khanyange
Wind Song
Khuluma
Let’s Pretend
Beau Chevalier
Maduna

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Maybe history will remember Miriam Makeba mostly for her activist triumphs. When it came to her music many of her obituaries dwelled on her two most famous songs, “Pata Pata” and “The Click Song,” and mentioned little else. But just as she was an important activist, in many places Makeba was as ubiquitous a pop presence as Louis Armstrong. Accordingly, she has left a huge body of recordings – including 28 studio and live albums, eight greatest hits compilations, and scores of videotaped live performances – that can be mined for lesser-known gems

The out of print RCA Victor LP “Makeba Sings” was released the same year as the Grammy-winning “An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba”. “Makeba Sings” finds the bold singer in a relatively straightforward context, delivering heartwarming tunes with fluttering tropical arrangements, the kind typically reserved for Disney scores. What peels this LP away from the bland conventions of retro calypso and exotica is Makeba’s searing voice, which spans at least three languages in 35 minutes and imbues captivating tracks like “Cameroon” and “Kilimanjaro” with an almost startling intensity.

Tracklist:

Cameroon
Woza
Little Bird
Chove-Chuva
Same Moon
Kilimanjaro
Khawuyani-Khanyange
Wind Song
Khuluma
Let’s Pretend
Beau Chevalier
Maduna

(320 kbps, cover art included)