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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

THE TRIP : Caronte I (1971)

The Trip were an early Italian progressive rock group, orginally formed by ex-pat Brits who moved to Italy. An original member was none other than Ritchie Blackmore!! He soon moved back to England to join Deep Purple. By the time of this track, half the group was Italian and under the leadership of keyboardist Joe Vescovi.
This track opens their classic second album, with overdriven keyboards and heavy classical overtones. The guitar/organ intro keeps a somewhat ominous feel. By 2:04, the band picks up a more 'classical rock' sound, sounding quite similar to The Nice (Keith Emerson is obviously Vescovi's biggest influence). The difference is the ripping guitar of William Gray, which lets loose at 3:22. At 4:39, the main theme returns with a surprising breakbeat kicking it off. The drum/keyboard interplay at 5:29 is quite impressive. At 5:45, there is a recap of part of the intro figure. The song ends with Vescovi's distorted keyboard effects.

Song : "Caronte I" by The Trip
From the LP " CARONTE" RCA Italia (1971)

William Gray : guitars
Arvid "Wegg" Andersen : bass
Pino Sinnone : percussion
Joe Vescovi : hammond organ, piano, church organ, mellotron

Get it here : Caronte I

Saturday, September 19, 2009

FLASH AND THE PAN : Captain Beware (1980)

Flash And The Pan were a late-70s/early-80s new wave project by producers/songwriters Harry Vanda and George Young. Vanda & Young were originally members of The Easybeats (see Jan. 21, 2008 entry), but soon moved on to production and songwriting. George Young is AC/DC's Angus & Malcolm's older brother. This group was their New Wave project, essentially a studio creation that brought in musicians to perform their music. This track is representative of the style of the project: synth-heavy beats, driving bass line, and vocals that speak throughout the verse, yet have a strong chorus.

Song : "Captain Beware" by Flash And The Pan
LP "LIGHTS IN THE NIGHT" (Albert) May 1980

George Young : synthesizers, lead vocals
Harry Vanda : guitar, vocals
Johnny Dick : drums
Les Karski : bass
Warren Morgan : piano

Get it here : Captain Beware

Saturday, September 12, 2009

THE HORACE SILVER QUINTET : Song For My Father (1964)

Not much to say about this one. An instant jazz standard, this song has been covered numerous times. It was inspired by Horace Silver's trip to Brazil, see below.

"Song for My Father," Horace Silver's most commercially successful song, was inspired by the Portuguese music that his father so loved. Rosenthal quotes Silver’s description of how he came to write it: "My dad through the years had always said to me, ‘Why don’t you take some of this Portuguese folk music and put it into jazz?’ I never could see it. To me it always seemed corny – because I was born here into American music, whether it be jazz or whatever. But there is a feeling there: there’s something there that’s valid. I didn’t really get in tune with that feeling until I was invited by Sergio Mendes to his house in Rio de Janeiro. I went to see Carnival and went around to different places he was playing and sat in, and I was fascinated by the musical capabilities of some of the young musicians down there. They were all into this bossa nova thing, which as you know was greatly inspired by our American jazz. I got turned onto that beat. So I got back to New York and I said, ‘I’ll try to write a tune using that rhythm.’ I started fooling around and I came up with the melody and I realized the melody I came up with was akin to Cape Verdean – like something my dad would play. That was ‘Song for My Father.’"

"Song for My Father" was introduced as the title track on Silver’s 1964 Blue Note Records album and the album cover featured a picture of Silver’s father. The album was a best seller for Blue Note and ranks as one of the greatest mainstream hard bop recordings. Its title song had a notable influence on pop music, with the jazz-rock group Steely Dan borrowing the opening piano notes for their greatest pop hit, "Rikki Don't Lose That Number", and Stevie Wonder borrowing the opening horn riff for his song "Don't You Worry ‘Bout a Thing".

Song : "Song For My Father" by The Horace Silver Quintet
LP "SONG FOR MY FATHER" (Blue Note) 1964

Horace Silver : piano
Carmell Jones : trumpet
Joe Henderson : tenor saxophone
Teddy Smith : bass
Roger Humphries : drums

Get it here : Song For My Father

Saturday, September 05, 2009

KINGDOM COME : Spirit Of Joy (1973)

Back from summer vacation! And Arthur Brown is back too! So after "The Crazy World..." fell apart, Brown tried jamming with various people (including Jimi Hendrix!). He ultimately settled on forming a progressive rock group, Kingdom Come. It continued the wackiness of his first album, but with a higher level of musicianship, and more contributions from other band members. Yet things changed quickly; after a couple of band members left, Brown decided not to use a drummer at all and replace him with a Bentley drum machine. This song is from the band's third and final album, and shows one of the earliest uses of a drum machine on a record. It's a catchier tune, but it still shows Brown's solid vocal range. Brown would basically go solo after this record.

Song : "Spirit Of Joy" by Kingdom Come
LP "JOURNEY" (Polydor) Apr. 1973

Arthur Brown : vocals, Bentley drum machine
Andy Dalby : electric guitar, vocals
Phil Shutt : bass, vocals
Victor Peraino : mellotron, piano, synthesizer

Get it here : Spirit Of Joy