Freitag, 22. September 2017

Joe Zawinul ‎– Mauthausen ... Vom großen Sterben hören

Joe Zawinul’s Mauthausen is a work inspired by the plight of prisoners at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp during World War II.

A little-known anomaly in the Joe Zawinul discography, "Mauthausen" was a multimedia event in which the Austrian-born composer/keyboardist tried to come to terms with some of the darkest hours in his country's history. It is a troubling, at times eloquent electronic tone poem that depicts life within the concentration camp near the small Austrian town of Mauthausen, where approximately 120,000 people lost their lives between the years 1938 and 1945.

Anticipating limited appeal for such a project, ESC released the album only in Austria and a handful of other Central European countries. Originally presented in the camp itself in 1998 with holograms, lighting effects, and 50 speakers placed around the audience, "Mauthausen" is mostly a one-man show on CD; Zawinul commanding his symphonic arsenal of keyboards, with occasional narrations in German by actor Frank Hoffmann. As have a number of recent Zawinul albums, this one opens with a deep, moody pedal point in the bass, but the mood stays dark and threatening most of the way through - a stark contrast to the bubbly, life-affirming rhythms that Zawinul had been pumping out on his jazz/world music recordings of this time. Once in a great while, a semblance of the Zawinul groove breaks out, but always in a subdued way. Mixed in are collages of storm-troopers, trains carrying the prisoners to the camp, prison doors slamming, commands of the guards, and other sound effects from wartime.

As in Zawinul's symphonic poem "Stories of the Danube", echoes from his jazz past turn up; this time, we hear spliced-in recordings of "Walking on a Nile" from Zawinul's "Dialects" and "The Orphan" from Weather Report's "8:30" album. The latter insert is particularly appropriate, with Wayne Shorter's tenor sax and a children's chorus shouting "No More! No More!" contributing beacons of hope before Zawinul's final hymn of benediction. Obviously, for non-German speakers, some of the meaning of the piece will be lost; the booklet contains no English translations other than a brief history of the camp and the titles of the selections. But the inhumane, brooding atmosphere of the camp comes through powerfully enough in the music via a stereo CD - the album deserves a wider release.

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Einleitung zu einer wahren Geschichte (Introduction to a True Story) (1:06)
2. Die Orgel der Barbarei (Organ of Barbarism)
a. Der Weg nach Mauthausen (The Tragedy) (16:03)
b. Das Lagerleben (Life in the Concentration Camp) 2:25
c. Das Orchester (The Orchestra) (3:08)
d. Interludium (Interlude) (0:54)
e. Die Folter (Torture) (4:10)
f. Die Nacht (The Night) (1:15)
g. Die Vollstrecker (The Executioners) (3:40)
h. Das Gebet (The Prayer) (1:04)
i. Samstagnacht im Lager (Saturday Night in The Camp) (3:40)
j. Wey Doo (1:49)
k. Sonntags im Lager (Sunday in The Camp) (6:24)
l. Weinachten 1944 (Christmas 1944) (3:07)
m. Der Fluchtversuch (Break Out) (3:25)
3. No More. No More.
a. No More. No More. (3:49)
b. Mauthausen: In Memoriam (5:52)

Joe Zawinul - Mauthausen... Vom großen Sterben hören
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Ute Lemper sings/chante Kurt Weill

Asked by Decca Records, Michael Haas was searching for a singer for a Kurt Weill album. He thought it should not be a professional classical singer, it should be an actress singer like Lotte Lenya.

After a long research, Haas encountered a German born actress, Ute Lemper. He discovered "the ideal combination of astonishing musicality and a text awareness which is both idiomatic and sensitive, whether the texts are German, French or English."

These recordings are cleverly well produced one and very entertaining. Lemper's singing succeeded in adding some new nuances on Lenya's interpretations. Her singing sometimes gets very close to the excessive points, but she never goes beyond. She stays in a good sense with humor.

Ute Lemper is a vocalist in that great European femme fatale tradition of Lenya, Piaf, and Dietrich and certainly to my lights the leading interpreter today of Weill's songs plus works by other European composers for the musical and cabaret.


1 La Chanson De Bilbao 4:39
2 La Complainte De La Seine
3 Firebrand Of Chappel
4 La Chanson De Barbara 4:02
5 La Ballade De La Jeune Fille Noyée 2:28
6 Rosa, La Rouge 2:26
7 Chanson Du Fil A Retordre 0:51
8 Surabaya-Johnny 4:37
9 Le Tango Des Matelots 4:29
10 La Ballade De Lili L'Infernale 1:50
11 Oh! Songez Donc Monsieur Jakob Schmidt 1:13
12 Chansons Des Iles Brunes
13 La Lettre D`Adieu
14 Combien De Temps Encore?
15 J´Attends Un navire
16 Youkali
17 Chanson De Septembre
19 Tchaikowksi
19 Trouble Man
20 Reve D´Enfance

Ute Lemper sings/chante Kurt Weill
(192 kbps, front & back cover included)

Donnerstag, 21. September 2017

Eric Von Schmidt - Who Knocked the Brains Out Of the Sky (1969)

Painter, illustrator, singer/songwriter, and folksinger Eric Von Schmidt was a spearhead of the folk revival that swept through Cambridge, Massachusett's Harvard Square in the early '60s. When he wasn't hosting late-night jam sessions at his apartment/studio, Von Schmidt was performing Leadbelly-influenced songs in coffeehouses and inspiring several generations of folk-rooted singer/songwriters.

As the third generation of painters in his family, Von Schmidt was the son of famed illustrator Harold Von Schmidt, best known for his serial Tugboat Annie. Von Schmidt was the first in his family to become involved with music. Although his mother read music and played piano at Christmas, his father and brother were unable to carry a tune. Determined that their children be given a grounding in music, Von Schmidt's parents purchased a collection of records including tunes by Johnny Noble & His Royal Hawaiians, Burl Ives, Segovia, Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians, Hoagy Carmichael, and Duke Ellington.

Von Schmidt stumbled onto folk music by chance when he heard a live broadcast by Leadbelly on radio station WNYC. The theme song was "Goodnight Irene." "I was going out with a girl called Irene, " Von Schmidt explained in 1992. "I thought, 'Boy, there's a song that I've got to learn.'"
Leadbelly's performance inspired Von Schmidt to teach himself to play guitar. In addition to learning songs from the records that he bought at a local store, he learned songs from the few music books that he could find. Much to his surprise, Von Schmidt found other high-school students in awe of folk music. Together they would travel to New York, where they would sit around playing their guitars and banjos in taverns. Among the first New York-based folksingers who Von Schmidt befriended were Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Tom Paley. At Elliott's invitation, Von Schmidt made his radio debut on a program hosted by Oscar Brand, playing "Pretty Polly" on a banjo.

Von Schmidt continued his musical education while serving in the Army. During the two years that he was stationed in Washington D.C., he searched for songs in the archives of the Folklore Department of the Library of Congress. After being discharged and spending two years studying art in Italy via a Fulbright Scholarship, Von Schmidt went to Harvard Square. Around the corner from his apartment and studio was Tulla's Coffee Grinder, a coffeehouse that served as the center of the early folk music movement.

Although the folk scene was initially relaxed and strictly amateur, things began to change around 1958 when Joan Baez made her debut appearances. The folk music craze spread quickly and new clubs opened, including Club 47 in Harvard Square and the Unicorn in Boston. One of the first folk artists to be recorded, Von Schmidt released his debut album in 1962.

An early friend and supporter of Bob Dylan, Von Schmidt was mentioned on Dylan's debut album as the source of the song "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down",  which Von Schmidt had recorded as "Baby, Let Me Lay It on You". In 1963, Von Schmidt traveled to England with Dylan and Rolf Cohn, recording an album with Dylan appearing as "Blind Boy Grunt." Von Schmidt's debut album, "Folk Blues", rests on the floor in the cover photograph of Dylan's 1965 "Bringing It All Back Home" album. Von Schmidt's original song "Joshua Gone Barbados" was recorded by Dylan and the Band during their Basement Tapes sessions and was included on the bootleg album "The Genuine Basement Tapes, Vol. 5".              

The folk scene was still going strong when Von Schmidt, who had been divorced from his first wife, left for Florida in 1970. After meeting the woman who would become his second wife, he relocated to Henniker, New Hampshire. He continued to record albums until the late '70s. Although he released an album with the Cruel Family on Philo in 1977, the label was experiencing severe problems and failed to promote the recording. The album was never included in the label's catalog. "Baby, Let Me Lay It on You", a book about the Boston/Cambridge folk years that Von Schmidt co-wrote with folksinger and record producer Jim Rooney, was originally published in 1979; the book was later reissued by the University of Massachusetts. For much of the 1980s and early '90s, Von Schmidt concentrated on his artwork. His illustrations were featured on numerous record albums and exhibited in several galleries and museums.

After meeting guitarist and vocalist Linda Clifford, Von Schmidt began performing again. In 1995, he recorded "Baby, Let Me Lay It on You" -- his first album in 18 years. In addition to 15 new songs, the album featured reworkings of "Joshua Gone Barbados" and the title track. Eric Von Schmidt died at age 75 on February 2, 2007 in Fairfield, Connecticut, after having suffered a stroke in August of the preceding year.                


A1Who Knocked The Brains Out Of The Sky?4:04
A2Beanum & Barley4:55
A3Three Mules0:46
A4Living On The Corner3:46
A5Sudden Garden4:39
B1Catch It3:27
B2Bitter City3:25
B3Lucky Mrs. Ticklefeather4:45
B4Hundred Acre Wood2:56
B5Weep For The Wooden Man4:38

Notes by Bob Dylan on rear cover:
"Of course we had heard about Eric von Schmidt for many years. The name itself had become a password. Eventually, after standing in line to meet him, there it was — his doorstep, a rainy day, and he greeted his visitors, inviting them in. He was told how much they liked GRIZZLY BEAR and he then invited the whole bunch to the Club where he was about to perform the thing live, "C'mon down to the Club," he said— "I'm about to perform it live." We accepted the invitation. And that's what this record is. An invitation. An invitation to the glad, mad, fad, biting, exciting, frightening, crabby, happy, enlightening, hugging, chugging world of Eric von Schmidt. For here is a man who can sing the bird off the wire and the rubber off the tire. He can separate the men from the boys and the note from the noise; the bridle from the saddle and the cow from the cattle. He can play the tune of the moon, the why of the sky, and the commotion of the ocean. Yes he can — and he is also a hell of a guy."          

Eric Von Schmidt - Who Knocked the Brains Out Of the Sky (1969)
(ca. 210 kbps, front cover included)

Dienstag, 19. September 2017

Dinah Washington - Dinah Jams (1954)

Recorded at the start of Dinah Washington's climb to fame, 1954's "Dinah Jams" was taped live in front of a studio audience in Los Angeles.

While Washington is in top form throughout, effortlessly working her powerful, blues-based voice on both ballads and swingers, the cast of star soloists almost steals the show. In addition to drummer Max Roach, trumpeter Clifford Brown, and other members of Brown and Roach's band at the time - tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Richie Powell, and bassist George Morrow - trumpeters Maynard Ferguson and Clark Terry, alto saxophonist Herb Geller, and pianist Junior Mance also contribute to the session.

Along with extended jams like "Lover Come Back to Me," "You Go to My Head," and "I'll Remember April" - all including a round of solos - there are shorter ballad numbers such as "There Is No Greater Love" and "No More," the last of which features excellent muted, obbligato work by Brown.

And even though she's in the midst of these stellar soloists, Washington expertly works her supple voice throughout to remain the star attraction, even matching the insane, high-note solo blasts trumpeter Ferguson expectedly delivers. A fine disc. Newcomers, though, should start with more accessible and more vocal-centered Washington titles like "The Swingin' Miss D" or "The Fats Waller Songbook", both of which feature top arrangements by Quincy Jones.

Dinah Washington - Dinah Jams (1954) 
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 18. September 2017

Miriam Makeba - Welela (1989)

A child of apartheid, and an artist who was forced to live in exile, Miriam Makeba has endured decades of struggle, witnessing the ravages of racism and intolerance all her life. However, her music is uplifting and celebratory. Makeba was once quoted as saying, "I'm only happy when I sing."

Clearly, this joy comes across on WELELA, which is influenced by the popular music of Makeba's homeland. "Pata Pata (Touch Touch)" is an exultant tune about dancing, while "A Luta Continua" is a song of resilience that is dedicated to the people of Mozambique.

However, the most moving song here is "Soweto Blues," which recounts the events of June 16th, 1976, when children in the eponymous township decided to protest oppression and apartheid. Their opposition was called a riot, and sparked a government massacre that killed 600. A funky groove complements Makeba's strong, passionate voice on this song, and the lyric, incredibly, retains an air of hope despite the distressing subject matter.                

The album was mixed at Condulmer Recording Studios in Venice, Italy by Allan Goldberg of Phonocomp in 1989, except for "Pata Pata" which was mixed at Psycho Studio in Milan.


A1 Amampondo
A2 African Sunset
A3 Djiu De Galinha
A4 A Luta Continua
A5 Soweto Blues
B1 Welela
B2 Hapo Zamini
B3 Pata Pata
B4 Saduva
B5 Africa

Miriam Makeba - Welela (1989)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 17. September 2017

Erich Kästner - gelesen von Werner Schneyder - Zeitgenossen, haufenweise

Erich Kästner, (born Feb. 23, 1899, Dresden, Ger.—died July 29, 1974, Munich) was a German satirist, poet, and novelist who is especially known for his children’s books. He was the most durable practitioner of the style of witty, laconic writing associated with the highbrow cabaret, the Berlin weekly Die Weltbühne (“The World Stage”), and the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) movement of the mid-1920s.

Kästner studied at Rostock, Leipzig, and Berlin to become a teacher. Later, as a journalist, he became a free-lance writer (1927). Four volumes of light but fundamentally serious poetry appeared before 1933. He also wrote the remarkable tragic novel Fabian (1931). His children’s books are notable for their humour and respect for the child’s moral seriousness. The most famous of these, Emil und die Detektive (1929; Emil and the Detectives), was several times dramatized and filmed. 

Prevented by the Nazis from publishing in Germany (1933–45), he printed his works in Switzerland. After the war, Kästner became magazine editor of Die Neue Zeitung of Munich and subsequently founded a children’s paper. From 1952 to 1962 he was president of the German branch of PEN, an international organization of writers. His post-World War II works are characterized by a greater emphasis on social philosophy but do not sacrifice their elegance and entertaining qualities. These include Das doppelte Lottchen (1950; “The Double Lottie”); Zu treuen Händen (1950; “Into Faithful Hands”); the play Die Schule der Diktatoren (1956; “The School of Dictators”); and Als ich ein kleiner Junge war (1957; “When I Was a Young Man”). Kästner’s collected works, Gesammelte Schriften, 7 vol., appeared in 1959.

1. "Das war der Krieg" 0:13
2. Die Entwicklung der Menschheit 1:29
3. Der Mensch ist gut 1:40
4. "Der Alte Herr..." 1:28
5. Wie lese ich den Handelsteil 1:54
6. Ansprache an Millionäre 2:18
7. Zeitgenossen haufenweise 1:50
8. Der synthetische Mensch 2:19
9. "Im Ernst, worüber lacht der Mensch..." 1:51
10. Maskenball im Hochgebirge 1:29
11. Winterspoet 1:15
12. Der Humor 0:23
13. Die Fabel von Schnables Gabel 1:28
14. Misanthropologie 1:17
15. Die Wirklichkeit als Stoff 0:28
16. Große Zeiten 1:00
17. Die Deutsche Einheitspartei 1:37
18. Marschliedchen 1:36
19. "Wenn ein kleiner Kaufmann..." 0:40
20. Kämpfe zu Hause 1:19
21. Die andere Möglichkeit 1:25
22. "Sie gingen zu Gaßmeier..." 1:03
23. Fantasie von übermorgen 1:08
24. Aus "Streiflichter aus Nürnberg" 1:01
25. Das letzte Kapitel 1:57
26. Liebe zum Theater 0:25
27. Der konzessionierte Moralbesitzer 0:55
28. Hamlets Geist 1:29
29. "Hausmittel und Außerhausmittel" 1:39
30. Der Handstand auf der Loreley 1:53
31. Der Gesang vom Singen 0:57
32. Die leichte Muse 0:12
33. Ankündigung einer Chansonette 1:13
34. "Theodor Däubler... über die Poesie 0:54
35. Sachliche Romanze 1:12
36. "Fabian war zweiunddreißig..." 1:50
37. Gewisse Ehepaare 1:44
38. "Gedanken eines Hotelgastes" 1:35
39. Hotelsolo für eine Männerstimme 1:19
40. "Mißtraut euren Schulbüchern" 0:35
41. Klassenzusammenkunft 1:23
42. "Es gab damals Lehrer ... 1:48
43. An die beleidigten Lehrer 1:05
44. "Am 1. August 1914" 0:28
45. Kurzgefasster Lebenslauf 1:41
46. Warnung vor Selbstschüssen 0:56
47. Und überhaupt 0:55
48. Man altert nicht von ungefähr 2:12
49. Alter Mann, anno 1970 1:22
50. Dem Revolutionär Jesus zum Geburtstag 1:24
51. Wenn es eine Gärtnerei gäbe... 0:48
52. Die Maulwürfe 3:39
53. Und wo bleibt das Positive? 0:12

Erich Kästner - gelesen von Werner Schneyder - Zeitgenossen, haufenweise
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Samstag, 16. September 2017

Lin Jaldati & Ensembel - Rejsele - Music of the Eastern European Jews Vol. IV

After World War II, there were still artists who performed Yiddish music on both sides of the Berlin Wall. In West Germany these included the folk singer Peter Rohland, the ensembles Zupfgeigenhansel and Espe, and the duo Hai and Topsy Fankl. East Germany had the state-subsidized Synagogue Choir in Leipzig (Leipziger Synagogalchor) and a handful of artists who, like Perry Friedman and Lin Jaldati, devoted themselves to Yiddish song.

Interestingly, Friedman, who immigrated to the GDR in the 1950s from Canada, and Jaldati, who moved to East Berlin from Holland, were devoted Communists and viewed Yiddish songs as vehicles for political statements. Lin Jaldati, venerated in the GDR as the First Lady of Yiddish song, perfomed continuously until 1988, when she gave one of her last concerts at the second festival of Yiddis Culture in East Berlin.

"Rejsele" was record at the Yiddish Folk Festival Zurich 1984, with Lin Jaldati and Jalda Rebling (vocals), Kathinka Rebling (viola) and Eberhard Rebling (piano).

Lin Jaldati & Ensembel - Rejsele - Music of the Eastern European Jews Vol. IV
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 15. September 2017

Harry Belafonte – The Many Moods Of Belafonte (1962)

Belafonte's follow-up album to "The Midnight Special" is another record stressing the diversity of world music. This time, a small combo accompanies Belafonte on the various tracks, as opposed to the big band approach of his last album.

Several crowd-pleasers were introduced on this album for the first time: the calypso "Zombie Jamboree," awhich soon replaced "Matilda" as Belafonte's epic audience participation song; and the showtune "Try to Remember," from the off-Broadway show "The Fantasticks".

The two highlights on the album are both songs dealing with American folk music. "Betty an' Dupree" is a classic murder ballad in the tradition of "Frankie and Johnny," performed with the intensity the subject matter commands. Country-western composer Merle Travis' "Dark as a Dungeon," a protest song dealing with the dreary, bitter life of the coal miner was inadvertantly recorded during a thunderstorm, giving the song a dose of ominous spontaneity.

Two of Belafonte's proteges from South Africa are also featured: singer Miriam Makeba and jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela. Some of the ballads are weak when compared to the more dramatic highlights, but still, this is a very satisfying album.
01. Tongue Tie Baby (B.Eaton)
02. Who’s Gonna Be Your Man (Brookes-Minkoff)
03. ‘Long About Now (Hellerman-Minkoff)
04. Bamotsweri (with Miriam Makeba) (Makeba)
05. I’m On My Way To Saturday (Guryan)
06. Betty An’ Dupree (Calabata Leonard De Paur)
07. Summertime Love (Loesser)
08. Lyla, Lyla (Alterman-Zeira)
09. Zombie Jamboree (Mauge Jr)
10. Try To Remember (Schmidt-Jones)
11. Dark As A Dungeon (Travis)

Harry Belafonte - The Many Moods Of Belafonte (1962)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Donnerstag, 14. September 2017

Hanns Eisler - Irmgard Arnold singt Eisler

On his return to Europe from the USA in 1948 Eisler had a large stock of vocal compositions "in his bagage", written in exile but as yet virtually unperformed.
Finding suitable artists to interpret this large group of works was exceptionally difficult. Not until 1956 did Eisler find a singr in the person of Irmgard Arnold who had everything he needed for his music - in his own words: "lightness, intelligence, friendliness, strictness, grace and hardness, fun an seriousness." The soprano Irmgard Arnold was born into a Munich family of musicians in 1919 and after engagements in Augsburg and Halle came in 1949/50 to the Komische Oper ensemble in Berlin. She gave her first Eisler concert at the second All-German Music Festival, held in Coburg at the endo of August and beginning of September 1956.

The vocal works on this recording were presented over the course of many years at her lieder recitals - accompanied by Andre Asriel, who had been top of Eisler´s composition class at the Academy of Arts in East Berlin in 1950/51. The works on the album are presented in chronological order, not as they were originally heard in the concert hall or presented on gramophone records. Irmgard Arnold´s concerts did much to reveal the "unknown" Eisler. Her way of singing Eisler can still be useful for deeper understanding of the difficulties caused to the inquring artist by this side of Eisler - and for the enthusiasm and enjoyment that intensive work can yield.

Hanns Eisler - Irmgard Arnold singt Eisler
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Hanns Eisler – Kleine Sinfonie, Kammer-Sinfonie, Orchesterstücke - Magedeburgische Philharmonie, Mathias Husmann

Hanns Eisler´s life and work as a composer had the character of a fundamental aesthetic confrontation with tradition and the world. Even at the age of sixteen, at the outbreak of World War I, Eisler belonged to a student group of antiwar activists - such membership being completely contrary to the trend of the times.

The Small Symphony op. 29 was composed in 1932. For short movements form a sequence of ten minutes in duration. Twelve-tone techniques are employed along with variation forms, contrapuntal elements, and rhytmical-metrical motivic shifts, and all of this creates the impression of a model exhibition.

The other orchestral works recorded here draw on extramusical sources. Eisler teamed up with the revolutionary filmmaker Joris Ivens in 1938. He composed the music for Ivens film about the legendary Long March of the Chinese communists ("Four Hundred Million"). The film music yielded his Five Pieces For Orchestra.

The Chamber Symphony of 1940 is also based on experiments in the area of film music.
The Overture to a Comedy (Nestroy´s "Höllenangst") of 1948 is much more relaxed than the Chamber Symphony. Eisler convices himself, so to speak, of his sovereign command of the light tone animated by ironic usage in the style of quotations.

The recordings on this album feature the Magdeburg Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Mathias Husmann.


Kleine Sinfonie, op.29
Drei Stücke für Orchester
Fünf Orchesterstücke
Kammer-Sinfonie, op.69
Ouverture zu einem Lustspiel

Hanns Eisler – Kleine Sinfonie, Kammer-Sinfonie, etc. - Magedeburgische Philharmonie, Mathias Husmann
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 12. September 2017

Inti-Illimani - Chile Resistencia (1977)

The power and resiliency of artists committed to profound social change resound over time and across natural and human-created borders. The music of the Nueva Canción is a testament to how the musical expressions of that commitment can bridge decades and span a hemisphere.

"Chile Resistencia" is the sixths album by Inti-Illimani. It was recorded at Sciascia Sound Studios in December 1976 - January 1977.        


A1Chile Resistencia2:17
A3Creemos El Hombre Nuevo2:35
A4Naciste De Los Leñadores5:23
A5Todas Las Lluvias2:49
B1America Novia Mia3:25
B2A Luis Emilio Recabarren2:32
B3No Nos Someteran2:28
B4Juanito Laguna Remonta El Barrilete4:55
B5Alborada Vendrà2:42

Inti-Illimani - Chile Resistencia (1977)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 11. September 2017

Inti-Illimani - La Nueva Cancion Chilena (1973)

Originally posted four years ago:

Last night I had the chance to experience a concert by the wonderful group Inti-Illimani Classico from Chile.

September 11, 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the military coup by General Pinochet against the democratically elected President Salvador Allende. The group dedicated their concert to the rememberance of these events.

Inti-Illimani is an instrumental and vocal Latin American folk music ensemble from Chile. The group was formed in 1967 by a group of university students and it acquired widespread popularity in Chile for their song Venceremos (We shall win!) which became the anthem of the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende. At the moment of the September 11, 1973 Chilean coup they were on tour in Europe and were unable to return to their country where their music was proscribed by the ruling military junta.
Having heard of the numerous extra-judicial killings of many fellow artists by Chile's army, they took up residence in Italy, resulting in "the longest tour in history" for Inti-Illimani as they lived in de facto exile. They continued their efforts supporting Chilean democracy internationally; magnitizdat copies of their work continued to be widely distributed in Chile. In September 1988, days after they were no longer banned from Chile, they began touring Chile again. They helped organize the voting down of the referendum that would have re-elected Pinochet. Recently, they were actually supported by Chile as representatives of Chilean culture.

In Europe their music took on a multifarious character, incorporating elements of European baroque and other traditional music forms to their rich and colourful Latin American rhythms - creating a distinctive fusion of modern world music. They are perhaps the best internationally known members of the nueva canción movement.

"La Nueva Canción Chilena" (New Chilean Song) is the musical voice of a social/political movement that lived in Chile in the 1960s and early 70s. Musically, it revived the sounds of native Andean music and blended them with American folk and popular music. Politically, the movement championed labor organization, land reform, anti-racism, and anti-imperialism. It supported the Vietnamese in their struggle against the U.S. Pinochet and the Fascist military junta seized power in Chile on Sept. 11, 1973. The New Chilean Song movement (along with most leftist political and social organizations) was destroyed, and its leaders murdered or exiled. The CIA and other U.S. agencies were heavily involved in installing Pinochet and keeping him in power.

Inti-Illimani - La Nueva Cancion Chilena (1973)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 10. September 2017

Georg Kreisler - Die alten bösen Lieder

"Composer and cabaret singer Georg Kreisler entered my life as a dictation in a German class. It was in 1996, early in my time in Vienna, and a spirited teacher at the Volkshochschule Brigittenau decided to challenge the students in the B2 class with the irresistible verses of “Tauben vergiften im Park” (Poisoning Pigeons in the Park) – one of Kreisler’s trademark bits of black humour that made him a cabaret legend in 1950s Vienna. It was hard-going for an intermediate German class. Still, you knew people were getting it, as suppressed giggles rippled about the room.

This first encounter led to the discovery of Kreisler’s “best of” song collection Everblacks, where I received important lessons in the culture of my new home: For example “Der Tod, das muss ein Wiener sein” (“Death must surely be a Viennese”) as “he” understands the importance of punctually at the Gates of Heaven, or, my favorite, the deliciously scathing “Wie schön wäre Wien ohne Wiener” (“How beautiful Vienna would be without the Viennese”). This gleeful revenge fantasy gives voice to the bottomless sense of betrayal of the Vertriebenen, those who had been driven out of their beloved city after the Anschluss.

With transcendent merriment, Kreisler sings of his beautiful Vienna that, “like a sleeping woman,” is presumably better to look at than to have to deal with. He sings of empty streets and unspoiled parks that would be a boon for tourism. And think! No more construction sites! No more folk bands! And not a blessed thing on television! And in this paradise, he muses, anti-Semitism would finally be consigned to the dusty shelves of a second-hand bookshop.

Born in Vienna in 1922 in a middle-class Jewish family, Kreisler and his parents were forced into exile in 1938, emigrating to the U.S., where he became a citizen in 1943. He returned to Europe with the army, acting as a translator and with opera scholar Marcel Prawy, writing and performing songs for the troupes. In Hollywood after the war, he performed in nightclubs and film studios, serving, for example, as ghost pianist for Charlie Chaplin in Monsieur Verdoux. Record companies were less receptive, finding the biting wit of his songs “un-American,” according to his biographers, and he returned to Vienna in 1955.

Here he became a fixture of the legendary Wiener Kabarett, alongside Helmut Qualtinger, Gerhard Bronner and Peter Wehle, then went independent, performing solo with his then-wife Topsy Küppers at the Marietta-Bar. He wrote songs and verses, stage and radio plays, cabaret sketches and musicals, including the highly successful Heute Abend, Lola Blau, and the television series, Die heiße Viertelstunde.

His relationship to Vienna was an uneasy one, however. As popular as he was with critics and his cabaret audiences, his increasingly biting political humor also led to censorship on both television and radio. His critiques of Austrian politics, made all the more powerful by his dazzling lyric gift, may have simply pushed too far in a country still in such deep denial about its role in the war. He was never invited to reclaim his Austrian citizenship, nor did the City of Vienna choose to honor him, as it did, for example, for Marcel Prawy.

“This city never lifted a finger for me,” he was quoted recently in the German news weekly Der Spiegel. “Rather than welcomed, I was chased away with bared teeth.” Kreisler became a man without a country, moving to Munich in 1958, then Berlin (1976), Salzburg (1988) and Basel (1992), finally returning to Salzburg in 2007.

He never lived in Vienna again.

Still, he visited from time to time on a series of “Farewell Tours,” the last in 2001. After that, he concentrated on poetry, publishing Zufällig in San Francisco: Unbeabsichtete Gedichte (Accidentally in San Francisco: Unintentional Poems), awarded the 2010 Friederich Hölderlin Prize.
It was to read from these and other lyrics that Kreisler was back in Vienna last January, at the venerable Kabarett Simpl. Bent over and clearly frail, he shuffled onto the stage on the arm of his wife, actress Barbara Peters, and seated himself awkwardly behind a desk. As he began to read, the years fell away, his resonant voice filling the hall, answering with hers, ringing with perfect clarity to the back of the house, the music of words, the masterful marriage of sound and sense.

Georg Kreisler died on 22 Nov. in Salzburg at the age of 89. Perhaps it mattered to him after all to die in Austria, even if not in Vienna. “Your homeland remains your homeland,” he once said, “even when you have been clobbered with it.” "-


1My psychoanalyst is an idiot3:20
2Please, shoot your husband2:20
3Bidla Buh3:05
4Das Triangel4:07
5Das Mädchen mit den drei blauen Augen2:17
6Der guate alte Franz3:25
7Die Wanderniere3:29
9Lied für Kärntner Männerchor5:02
11Zwei alte Tanten tanzen Tango4:57
12Der Bluntschli4:02
13Max auf der Rax4:50
14Der Musikkritiker6:46
15Zu leise für mich3:41

Georg Kreisler - Die alten bösen Lieder
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 9. September 2017

Dollar Brand & Johnny Dyani - Good News from Africa (1973)

The extraordinary South African pianist meets his countryman, the late, very great bassist Johnny Dyani, and the result is one of the single most beautiful recordings of the '70s. The duo mix in traditional African and Islamic songs and perform with a fervor and depth of feeling rarely heard in or outside of jazz.

From the opening traditional Xhosa song, "Ntsikana's Bell," the rich, sonorous approach of these two musicians is evident, both singing in stirring fashion, Ibrahim guttural and serious, Dyani as free and light as a swallow. Ibrahim treats the listener to some of his all-too-rarely heard flute work on the following track, using Kirk-ian techniques of sung overtones in a gorgeous original. Dyani's bass playing is simply astonishing, never indulging in mere virtuosic displays but always probing, always deep - what Mingus might have sounded like had he been born in South Africa. His whipsaw arco work on "Good News" provides an incredibly roiling yet solid framework for some inspired piano from Ibrahim.

The Islamic prayer-song "Adhan/Allah-O-Akbar" is sung with such heartfelt intensity so as to melt the heart of the unbeliever and lay waste to countless quasi-spiritual attempts by lesser talents. The final two pieces are a fascinating pair. "The Pilgrim" is an Ibrahim special, based on a slow, irresistible loping groove, one that reaches its end lingering for a second or two before repeating, on and on like a luxurious desert caravan. The musicians embroider it exquisitely before reluctantly letting it go on its way after ten minutes. The next composition, Ibrahim's "Moniebah," begins in a stately manner, proceeding along for a minute or two until, as if drawn in by its ineluctable gravity, they return to "The Pilgrim," unable to resist its pull. It's an amazing, joyful moment that sends chills down one's spine.

"Good News From Africa" was the shining, transcendent release by both of these great musicians and one that should grace every listener's collection.    

This album was recorded December 10, 1973 at Studio Bauer, Ludwigsburg.          


1Ntsikana's Bell6:15
3Good News (Swazi, Waya-Wa-Egoli)7:25
4Adhan & Allah-O-Akbar4:15
5The Pilgrim9:50
6Moniebah (The Pilgrim)12:00

Dollar Brand & Johnny Dyani - Good News from Africa (1973)     
(320 kbps, cover art included)

39 Clocks - 13 More Protest Songs (1987)

The 39 Clocks were a Psychedelic group from Hannover, Germany. The band was formed in 1977 under the name Killing Rats, split after an appearance at "Psychotic Splash Festival" in Hannover (18 June 1983) and was briefly reformed for a comeback album in 1987.    

The first public appearance pairing Christian Henjes and Juergen Gleue (inspired by and with names derived from LSD-25, they would become CH-39 and JG-39) was in 1976, at the Dada Nova (a space occupied by Otto Mühl’s AAO commune) in midtown Hannover, Germany. Dada Nova would be a space of enduring clash. From the subtlety of a shat upon organ to the ejection from communal meetings by bodily force, the AAO would display that the presence of the 39 Clocks was one of their constant grief.

Known for pranksterism and the destruction of the clubs in which they would perform, friction in every form would continually follow the band. In 1979 they were thrown out of a show in Kassel at Dokumenta (their sounds had disturbed Joseph Beuys). They created an outrage (they wrote a tune with the title “Art Minus Idiots”) at the Filmtage Hannover with their avant-garde Super 8 movies made under the disguise of director Zachius Lipschitz. Rumour claims that at a Hannover show at the Cafe Glocksee, they played the vacuum cleaner and a circular saw instead of guitars, and there was even a knife throwing incident in Bremen              

This album was recorded in 1987 in Ilten, Germany. It is dedicated to Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser, Reg Presley, Chet Baker, Jack Grunsky and Ilona Staller.           


Eternal Yesterdays2:40
What Never Happened4:10
Eve Of Destruction2:50
You Can't Count The Bombs (It's Zero)3:41
But You Know7:08
Mr. Diamond3:06
My Tears Will Drown The World2:42
Il Ne Porte Pas Ses Nylons Négligés4:28
Shake Ghaddafi's Blues4:30
I'm Not Alone Without You (Ce N'est Pas Pervers)1:50
(They Don't Dance Much) The Violent Ones4:51

39 Clocks - 13 More Protest Songs
(ca. 192 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 8. September 2017

Dick Farina & Eric Von Schmidt - Dick Farina & Eric Von Schmidt (1963)

This obscure album, recorded in January 1963 at Dobell's record shop in London, is known primarily for a very famous session musician playing under a pseudonym. Blind Boy Grunt, aka Bob Dylan, contributed harmonica and backup vocals to half a dozen of the tracks (using that pseudonym, most likely, as he was under contract to a different label at the time).

Farina and Von Schmidt, already noted performers in the American coffeehouse folk scene, are the principal figures on this pretty typical '60s folk revival LP. The material and delivery are rooted in traditional folk forms, including jug band, blues, and Appalachian music, and are neither too dry nor too exciting. Certainly Farina, the more talented of the front line pair, shows few flashes of the first-rate songwriting and arrangements that would flower on the albums he did in the mid-'60s with his wife Mimi Farina.

The one vivid flash of that brilliance is on the instrumental "Old Joe's Dulcimer," in which he unveils his considerable talents on the instrument. With its almost Indian-like drones, it could just about fit as one of the instrumentals on the Richard & Mimi Farina albums, although the absence of Mimi Farina's guitar accompaniment creates (if only in retrospect) a sonic gap. "Wobble Bird" (derived from the standard "Cuckoo") and "Wildwood Flower" (a vocal number which has some dulcimer) aren't bad, but really this is just another folk album of its time, notable primarily as a collector's item.

If you're picking this up just for Dylan's contributions, be advised that those are pretty low-key; he doesn't contribute any songwriting or lead vocals. Also lending a hand on these sessions is Ethan Signer of the Original Charles River Valley Boys.      -          


Side One:
1.) JOHNNY CUCKOO (4:27) adaption of a children's game song learned from Bessie Jones, a negro woman from St. Simon's Island, Georgia
2.) JUMPING JUDY (3:55) an ax song, sometimes called "Drive it On," from the unaccompanied singing of convicts, Cummins State Farm, Arkansas, 1934. Played in an open G-tuning.
3.) GLORY, GLORY (2:34) traditional negro hymn, the tune relating closely to the Southern white hymn, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?"
4.) OLD JOE'S DULCIMER (2:55) a medley of dance tunes including "Old Joe Clark," "Swing and Turn," "Darlin' Corey," etc.
5.) WOBBLE BIRD (2:44) a variation on "The Cuckoo," in 3/4 time.
6.) WILDWOOD FLOWER (1:56) instrumental on the well known Carter song.
7.) OVERSEAS STOMP (2:43) in the spirit of the 1927 Memphis Jug Band.

  Side Two:
1.) LONZO N'HOWARD (3:30) learned from Tom Shoemaker of Harlan, Kentucky, who heard it there from a mountain fiddler called Blind Jim. This is probably its first recording.
2.) YOU CAN ALWAYS TELL (3:00) a tune based on Furry Lewis' "Dry Land Blues," with additional verses.
3.) XMAS ISLAND (3:18) a twelve-bar written by Fariña.
4.) STICK WITH ME BABY (3:32) played in an open G-tuning, adapted from the 1928 Lewis, "I Will Turn Your Money Green."
5.) RIDDLE SONG (1:10) traditional, with new answers to fit the old questions.
6.) COCAINE (4:03) learned from Rev. Gary Davis at Indian Neck, 1960.
7.) LONDON WALTZ (3:10) a blues in 3/4 time, music by Fariña, words spontaneous.

Dick Farina & Eric Von Schmidt - Dick Farina & Eric Von Schmidt (1963)
(320 kbps, cover art included)