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Fuchsia Swing SongOriginally released in 1964, Sam Rivers' Fuchsia Swing Song was released immediately after his departure from the Miles Davis Quartet. A session player and former member of Herb Pomeroy's Big Band prior to working with Miles, this auspicious debut displays both his influences and that he was a self-assured seasoned player transitioning into greatness.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Fuchsia Swing Song
2. Downstairs Blues Upstairs
3. Cyclic Episode
4. Luminous Monolith
6. Ellipsis$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45RPM LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
ContrastsDave Holland always described Sam Rivers' groups as his finishing school. It was Sam who instructed him to play "all the music" - inside, outside, atonal, swing, blues, and all the hues of the jazz and chamber music traditions. By the time of Contrasts, Rivers and Holland had been working together consistently for seven years (with Dave's Conference of the Birds at the start of the story), a powerhouse combination of multi-reeds and double bass. Of the drummers who passed through the line-up, Thurman Barker was one of the most creative, rippling across drum kit and marimba. Young trombone innovator George Lewis had already worked with Holland and Barker in Anthony Braxton groups. For Contrasts everyone was fired up and ready to play.
Sam Rivers (soprano and tenor saxophones, flute)
George Lewis (trombone)
Dave Holland (bass)
Thurman Barker (drums, marimba)
Recorded December 19791. Circles
7. Lines$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Fuchsia Swing SongDuring the Blue Note 75th anniversary celebration the label released 100 essential Blue Note LPs and asked New York Times readers what titles they'd like to see make the list. This album is one of five new reissues that were hand-selected by Blue Note President, Don Was, based on New York Times reader recommendations.
Recorded in 1964 immediately after leaving the Miles Davis Quintet, Sam Rivers' Fuchsia Swing Song is one of the more auspicious debuts the label released in the mid-'60s. Rivers was a seasoned session player (his excellent work on Larry Young's Into Somethin' is a case in point) and a former member of Herb Pomeroy's Big Band before he went out with Davis. By the time of his debut, Rivers had been deep under the influence of Coltrane and Coleman, but wasn't willing to give up the blues just yet. Hence the sound on Fuchsia Swing Song is one of an artist who is at once very self-assured, and in transition.
Using a rhythm section that included Tony Williams (whose Life Time he had guested on), pianist Jaki Byard, and bassist Ron Carter, Rivers took the hard bop and blues of his roots and poured them through the avant-garde colander. Today, players like Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis, and James Carter do it all the time, but in 1964 it was unheard of. You either played hard bop or free; Davis' entire modal thing hadn't even completely blasted off yet. The title and opening track is a case in point.
Rivers opens with an angular figure that is quickly translated by the band into sweeping, bopping blues. Rivers legato is lightning quick and his phrasing touches upon Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, Coleman, and Coltrane, but his embouchure is all his. He strikes the balance and then takes off on both sides of the aisle. Byard's comping is actually far more than that, building in rhythmic figures in striated minors just behind the tenor. Downstairs Blues Upstairs sounds, initially anyway, like it might have come out of the Davis book so deep is its blue root. But courtesy of Byard and Williams, Rivers goes to the left after only four choruses, moving onto the ledge a bit at a time, running knotty arpeggios through the center of the melody and increasingly bending his notes into succeeding intervals while shifting keys and times signatures
He never goes completely over the edge as he would on his later Blue Note dates. The most difficult cut on the date is Luminous Monolith, with its swing-like figure introducing the melody. Eight bars in, the syncopation of the rhythm sections begins a stutter stem around the time and then the harmony with Byard building dense chords for Rivers to jump off of. On the Connoisseur Series CD (shame on Blue Note once again for making some of its best outside records limited editions; titles like this should be as readily available as Horace Silver's Song for My Father, but the label had been playing it ever so safe for a while and making fans buy the limited number of titles over and again) there are alternate takes of Luminous Monolith and three more of Downstairs Blues Upstairs, making it a very worthwhile look at the entire session.
This is a highly recommended date. Rivers never played quite like this again.
- Thom Jurek1. Fuchsia Swing Song
2. Downstairs Blues Upstairs
3. Cyclic Episode
4. Luminous Monolith
6. Ellipsis$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Appia Kwa Bridge"I wanted to go back to a highlife feeling with this album," explains Ebo Taylor. "The songs are very personal and it is an important part of my music to keep alive many traditional Fante songs, war chants and children's rhymes."
Appia Kwa Bridge is a strident return from the Ghanaian highlife guitar legend. Featuring six new compositions, his sound is more dense and tightly locked than ever with Berlin-based musicians Afrobeat Academy, a rock solid unit since regular touring worldwide following his Love And Death album in 2010, including a string of dates for Womad. Jochen Stroh works his analogue magic once more from his base at Berlin's Lovelite Studios.
The album covers a variety of themes dear to Taylor. The title track references a small bridge in Ebo's hometown of Saltpond on the Cape Coast: "it is a tiny bridge but a place known in the town where people meet, where lovers get together." The firing, rousing Ayesama, first demoed during the Love And Death sessions, is a Fante war cry, a taunt, "what's your mother's name?"; Nsu Na Kwan, based on a Fante proverb, asks "Which is older, the river or the old road" with the sub-text to respect your elders; and the brilliant Abonsam carries the message that Abonsam (The Devil) is responsible for evil in the world and that we should follow the Christian message.
Elsewhere, the album features a new version of highlife anthem, Yaa Amponsah, first recorded during the '20s by Sam's Trio before becoming a popular standard in Ghana, and a cover of an original track from Taylor's time with Apagya Show Band during the '70s, Serwa Brakatu, re-titled here as Kruman Dey. The closer, the acoustic Barrima, is a poignant tribute to Taylor's first wife and one true love who sadly passed away during the Summer of 2011. "Ebo wrote the song following her passing and recorded this in one take during our last day in the studio," reflects bandleader Ben Abarbanel-Wolff. "He was very emotional." Deluxe 2LP gatefold packaging with download card.1. Ayesama
3. Nsu Na Kwan
4. Yaa Amponsah
5. Assom Dwee
6. Kruman Dey
7. Appia Kwa Bridge
8. Barrima$22.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Bright MississippiThrough his work as producer, composer, arranger and consummate session man, New Orleans native Allen Toussaint has truly earned living-legend status. He has collaborated on landmark recordings for such artists as Ernie K. Doe, Lee Dorsey, Dr. John, the Meters, the Pointer Sisters and Labelle and released acclaimed albums of his own. The 70 year-old pianist, already a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, was the recipient, on the recent Grammy Awards telecast, of the Recording Academy's prestigious Trustee Award, honoring a lifetime in the studio, both behind the scenes and in front of the mic.
On The Bright Mississippi, his Nonesuch debut, Toussaint continues to break new ground with his first jazz-oriented set, displaying the same effortless swing and relaxed charm he brought to his classic rock and roll sides. He salutes Big Easy stars of a previous generation, the jazz greats who, in the early 20th century, built the genre from the ground up and turned the ears of the world to New Orleans. Backed by an all-star combo that sounds like a group of old friends, Toussaint reinterprets classic jazz and blues tunes popularized or written by such New Orleans greats as Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton and Joe King Oliver, as well as pieces composed by fellow travelers Django Reinhardt, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. He accedes the producers chair to trusted friend Joe Henry, who sat behind the board for Toussaint's contributions to Our New Orleans, Nonesuch Records best-selling 2005 benefit release aiding hurricane victims on the Gulf Coast. Henry also produced The River In Reverse, Toussaint's 2006 post-Katrina collaboration with Elvis Costello.
Henry assembled a decidedly non-traditional band of backing players for The Bright Mississippi, assuring a fresh take on such venerable tunes as West End Blues, St. James Infirmary, and Dear Old Southland. Joining Toussaint for four days of sessions at Manhattans Avatar Studio were guitarist Marc Ribot (Costello, Tom Waits), bassist David Piltch (k.d. lang), clarinetist Don Byron, trumpeter Nicholas Payton and drummer Jay Bellerose (Robert Plant /Alison Krauss, Sam Phillips). Nonesuch label-mates Brad Mehldau (piano) and Joshua Redman (saxophone) stopped by for one tune each.It was wonderful, says Toussaint of these convivial sessions.
Everything is live, of course. This isn't the kind of assembly line music where somebody put the wheels on here and somebody put the top on there. Everything got done at the same time, so everybody fed on each other, their personality and tonality.LP 1
1. Egyptian Fantasy
2. A Dear Old Southland
3. St. James Infirmary
4. Singin the Blues
5. Winin Boy Blues
6. West End Blues
1. Blue Drag
2. Just a Closer Walk with Thee
3. Bright Mississippi
4. Day Dream
5. Long, Long Journey
6. Solitude$29.99140 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
UNIM-HAR-9048xThe New Basement Tapes
Lost On The RiverThe New Basement Tapes, an album project from Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops) Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons) and producer T Bone Burnett, recorded in Capitol Studios to create music for two-dozen recently discovered lyrics written by Bob Dylan in 1967 during the period that generated the recording of the legendary Basement Tapes.
The album will be released this year by Electromagnetic Recordings/Harvest Records (Capitol Music Group), and will be accompanied by a Showtime documentary titled, Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued, directed by Sam Jones (the Wilco documentary, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart). The film will present an exclusive and intimate look at the making of Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes set against the important and historical cultural backdrop of Bob Dylan's original Basement Tapes.
Bob Dylan's original Basement Tapes - recorded by Dylan in 1967 with musicians who would later achieve their own fame as The Band - have fascinated and enticed successive generations of musicians, fans and cultural critics for nearly five decades. This collective recorded more than a hundred songs in
the basement of a small house in upstate New York that summer and fall, including dozens of newly-written Bob Dylan future classics such as, "I Shall Be Released," "The Mighty Quinn," "This Wheel's On Fire," "You Ain't Going Nowhere" and "Tears Of Rage."
Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes celebrates the discovery of new Bob Dylan lyrics from that noted 1967 period and marks a unique creative opportunity for Burnett, Costello, Giddens, Goldsmith, James and Mumford, who are bringing them to life nearly 50 years later. For Burnett, whom Dylan
has entrusted with this endeavor, it was imperative to provide an environment in which these artists could thrive. "Great music is best created when a community of artists gets together for the common good. There is a deep well of generosity and support in the room at all times, and that reflects the tremendous generosity shown by Bob in sharing these lyrics with us."1. Down On The Bottom
2. Married To My Hack
3. Kansas Cit
4. Spanish Mary
5. Liberty Street
6. Nothing To It
7. When I Get My Hands On You
8. Duncan and Jimmy
9. Lost On The River
10. Florida Key
11. Hidee Hidee Ho
13. Card Shark
14. Six Months In Kansas City (Liberty Street)
15. Lost On The River$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Bright Sunny SouthNonesuch Records releases Sam Amidon's label debut, Bright Sunny South in 2013. Produced by Amidon with his childhood friend and longtime collaborator Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman) and legendary English engineer Jerry Boys (Buena Vista Social Club, Vashti Bunyan, R.E.M.) and recorded in London, the record features a band made up of Bartlett and multi-instrumentalists Shahzad Ismaily and Chris Vatalaro. Jazz trumpeter Kenny Wheeler also makes a cameo. Amidon himself not only sings but also plays banjo, fiddle, acoustic guitar, and piano on the album.
Amidon describes Bright Sunny South as a "a lonesome record" and a return to the more spare sound of his 2007 self-recorded debut, But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted: "There was an atmospheric quality to my last two records; those albums are like a garden of sounds," says Amidon, "but this one is more of a journey, a winding path. The band comes rushing in and then they disappear. It comes from more of a darker, internal space."
A longtime admirer of Boys' work, Amidon was particularly enamored of his recordings with Martin Carthy in the 1970s, as well as the Ali Farka TourÉ/Toumani DiabatÉ duet albums on World Circuit/Nonesuch: "Those are so beautiful. I listened to all of that. I loved the sense of documentation, the unadorned quality. Everything sounded so clear."
The Vermont-born and raised, London-based Amidon is known for his reworking of traditional melodies into a new form. In addition to country ballads and shape-note hymns, Bright Sunny South features interpretations of traditional and contemporary songs, including Tim McGraw's "My Old Friend" and Mariah Carey's "Shake It Off." The record also includes a version of "Weeping Mary," a shape-note hymn that his parents, Peter and Mary Alice Amidon, had recorded with the Vermont-based Word of Mouth Chorus for Nonesuch Records on the 1977 disc Rivers of Delight: American Folk Hymns from the Sacred Harp Tradition.
Bright Sunny South follows 2010's critically acclaimed I See the Sign, which earned Amidon praise from SPIN for his "quirky alchemy contrasting pretty sounds with violent lyrical undercurrents" and Pitchfork, which said, "[Amidon's] interpretations are so singular that it stops mattering how (or if) they existed before."
Prior to I See the Sign, which was released on the Iceland-based label Bedroom Community, Amidon released But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted (Plug Research, 2007) and All Is Well (Bedroom Community, 2008). In addition to his solo albums, Amidon has collaborated on performances pieces with musical polymath Nico Muhly, toured as part of Thomas Bartlett's group Doveman and the Brooklyn band Stars Like Fleas, collaborated with Beth Orton, and embarked on a series of live shows with the guitarist Bill Frisell.
Sam Amidon, sing, banjo, fiddle, acoustic guitar; piano (8)
Thomas Bartlett, piano, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer, Moog synthesizer; percussion & electric guitar (11)
Shahzad Ismaily, electric & acoustic guitars, electric bass, Moog bass; drums (2); shaker egg (7)
Chris Vatalaro: drums & percussion; flute (6); a taste of the Wurli (2)
Kenny Wheeler, trumpet (2, 5)
Doug Wieselman, clarinets (11)
Tyler Gibbons, electric bass (10)
Produced by Sam Amidon, Jerry Boys, and Thomas Bartlett
Engineered and Mixed by Jerry Boys
Recorded at Snap Recording Studios and Livingston Studios, London
"Weeping Mary" Engineered by Patrick Dillett at No Fat Studios, New York, NY
Violin and bass on "Streets of Derry" Recorded by Tyler Gibbons at Red Heart Studios, Marlboro, VT
Assistant Engineers: Ben Mclusky at Snap; Sonny at Livingston
All songs are traditional, reworked & arranged by Sam Amidon, except track 4 written by McEwan/Wiseman, arranged by Sam Amidon and Thomas Bartlett; track 8 by Cox/Carey/Austin/Dupri, arranged by Sam Amidon; track 11 by McCurry/Power, arranged by Sam Amidon and Thomas Bartlett
Design by John Gall
Executive Producer: David Bither1. Bright Sunny South
2. I Wish I Wish
3. Short Life
4. My Old Friend
5. He's Taken My Feet
7. As I Roved Out
8. Shake It Off
10. Streets of Derry
11. Weeping Mary$24.99Vinyl LP + Bonus 7 - Sealed Buy Now
Chaos And The CalmAmongst its twelve tracks, James Bay's Chaos And The Calm features the singles Hold Back the River and Let It Go. Driven by his soulful delivery, captivating storytelling, and inimitable spirit, he's poised to capture the attention of listeners worldwide within the next year. Already, numerous tastemakers are predicting big things for BAY in 2015. A multitude of major news sources have chosen him as one of 2015 s Artist to Watch. In addition The New York Times named Let It Go as one of 2014's best songs.
Back home, he recently received the high honor of the BRIT Critics Choice Award, an honor previously won by none other than Adele, Florence + the Machine, Sam Smith, Jessie J, and many other superstars. He s also been put on the Long List for BBC 1 Sound of 2015. BAY hails from the tiny town of Hitchin, but he cut his teeth performing at London s iconic venues including opening for The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park, opening for two sold out tours with Kodaline, John Newman and Tom Odell. It was at one of these very performances that a fan filmed his set and shared the video on YouTube. The video quickly caught the attention of Republic Records who ended up flying BAY to New York and signing him on the spot. This fall he was selected to perform at the Burberry's Prosum Spring/Summer Fashion Show and the iTunes Music Festival. BAY is now set to kick off his second sold out headlining tour of the UK.1. Craving
2. Hold Back The River
3. Let It Go
4. If You Ever Want To Be In Love
5. Best Fake Smile
6. When We Were On Fire
7. Move Together
10. Get Out While You Can
11. Need The Sun To Break
12. Incomplete$29.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Back For A Taste Of Your LoveA rollicking vocalist and gifted harmonica player, Syl Johnson has forged a career in both blues and soul. The brother of bassist Mac Thompson and guitarist/vocalist Jimmy Johnson, Syl Johnson sang and played with blues artists Magic Sam, Billy Boy Arnold, and Junior Wells in the '50s before recording with Jimmy Reed for Vee-Jay in 1959. He made his solo debut that same year with Federal. Johnson toured with Howlin' Wolf from late 1959 until 1962, when Willie Mitchell signed him to Hi Records.
Johnson recorded for both Twilight and Hi in the late '60s and early '70s, clicking with the dance/novelty cut Come on Sock It to Me and crackling message track Is It Because I'm Black? He had his biggest hit with Take Me to the River in 1975, reaching number seven on the R&B charts. Johnson later recorded for Shama and Boardwalk. He reappeared on a collaboration with his brother Jimmy in the summer of 2002, humorously titled Two Johnsons Are Better Than One.
[Back For A Taste Of Your Love] ...moves his hard Chicago soul groove over to Willie Mitchell's production style, which has a bit more of a mellow tip to it. Syl wrote a number of the tracks, and the titles include I'm Yours, Feelin' Frisky, I Hate I Walked Away, and The Love You Left Behind.
- Zero G Sound1. I'm Yours
2. I Let a Good Girl Go
3. Anyway the Wind Blows
4. You Don't Know Me
5. Feelin' Frisky
6. We Did It
7. Wind, Blow Her Back My Way
8. I Hate I Walked Away
9. The Love You Left Behind$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now