quinta-feira, 30 de março de 2017

Nigeria 70 (The Definitive Story of 1970's Funky Lagos)


This is an absolutely stellar collection of 70s Afrobeat tunes from the 1970s, focusing on Nigerian artists. Of course the mighy Fela is on here, as is a mesmerizing track from King Sunny Ade, but there are many lesser known names on here that provide plenty of rhythm and harmony. My favorite new discoveries on here are Sir Victor Uwaifo (I since went and bought a compilation of his best tunes; great guitar playing!), the Lijadu Sisters, and Orlando Julius. But that's only a few of the powerful tunes on this very funky and lively 2-CD collection. If you enjoy African music, 70s funk, or any sort of "world beat" with soul and passion, you NEED to get this collection. Lively up yourself! The 3rd CD "Nigeria 70 The Documentary" had a manufacturing defect in many copies of this set. Around the time of its release Quinton Scott and his original Strut team would sent out replacement discs free of charge when contacted.


Nigeria 70 - The Definitive Story of 1970'S Funky Lagos - 2001


Originally released back in 2001, there's a reason why Strut have reissued Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story Of 1970's Funky Lagos so many times; it's superb and totally lives up to the title! if you've not yet indulged in the compilation, this 2012 triple vinyl pressing is the even more definitive edition, slipping in the 2CD version along with the Nigeria 70 audio documentary that Strut originally included in the 2001 CD issue but has been absent since. With the vinyl now pressed on heavyweight 180g wax, this makes for the perfect introduction into the vivid story of 1970s West African funk. Well done Strut!

 Nigeria 70 - Lagos Jump - 2008


It was the sound of post-independence Nigeria, a time of celebration and wealth but, ultimately, of political oppression. The music reflected the times - a heady mix of traditional rhythms and big band highlife with the new rock, soul and jazz sounds crackling through transistor radios from Europe and the U.S. The rulebook of Nigerian musical heritage was ripped up as SANTANA, THE BEATLES and JAMES BROWN became as relevant to young players as HARUNA ISHOLA, VICTOR OLAIYA and E. T. MENSAH. Led by the towering influence of FELA KUTI, established Nigerian stars and the rawest of college bands alike forged new fusions and began using their music confidently as a vehicle for new variations of traditional parables and social commentary. Back in 2001, the first edition of 'Nigeria 70' on STRUT broke the mould for African compilations, a 3CD powerhouse featuring a wide spectrum of musical styles from across the 1970s and an audio documentary tracing the music's history. For 2007, Strut delve deeper into the Lagos underground for another essential box of West African dynamite. Compiled by leading Afro archivist DUNCAN BROOKER and Strut's QUINTON SCOTT, 'Nigeria 70' comes packaged in a deluxe digipak with 16pg booklet featuring extensive sleeve notes by author JOHN COLLINS.



Nigeria 70 - Sweet Times - Afro-Funk, Highlife & Juju from 1970's Lagos - 2011


Strut announce the return of their pioneering 'Nigeria 70' compilati- on series with an exclusive new third volume: 'Sweet Times: Afro Funk, Highlife &Juju from 1970s Lagos' compiled again by series curator Duncan Brooker. Excavating another choice batch of rare grooves from Nigeria's label archives, the new edition places the spotlight on some of the deeper fusions happening across the country during the 1970s as traditional guitar highlife blended with jazz and funk, hypnotic juju grooves became more progressive and young Nigerian bands came through with their own heavy West African take on U.S. soul, funk, disco and rock. As on the previous Nigeria 70 volumes, all of the featured selec- tions are previously unissued outside of Nigeria. Tracks range from the dynamite big band workout of Alex Ringo's Moneyman & The Super 5 International to the Congolese guitar-drenched 'Hen- rietta' by the late Ali Chukwumah, former member of Stephen Osita Osadebe's Sound Makers. Darker psych grooves from Don Isaac Ezekiel sit alongside raw college funk from college band Tabanaku comprising students from the University Of Ife. Highlife legend Victor Olaiya unleashes a slow, languorous Afro jam lifted from a rare Polydor 45 and juju legend Ebenezer Obey cooks up a lilting, deeply beautiful mid-tempo groove from 1970 in a musical plea for peace. 'Nigeria 70: Sweet Times' is another essential celebration of the glut of incredible music that surfaced in post- independence Nigeria.

quarta-feira, 29 de março de 2017

Bijou • Neo-Prog (Spain)


Versatile neo-prog outfit from Zamora, Spain, whose sole album reveals strong musicianship, rare compositional abilities and much originality. They are not as experimental as fellow Spanish progsters PSICOTROPIA, yet in no way do they resemble your usual PENDRAGON / JADIS / MARILLION / IQ emulators. The only fitting comparison would perhaps be TWELFTH NIGHT, with tinges of 80's era RUSH. After a two-year unsuccessful search for a vocalist, they decided to go all instrumental and make the best of their two guitarists, keyboard player, bassist and drummer.

The highly melodic album "El Profeta" (1993) puts the accent on keyboards although every musician pinches in masterfully while never losing sight of the overall effect. Most tracks average 6 minutes except for the last one, a 24-minute epic full of unexpected twists and turns, exquisite musical phrases and varied time signatures. The sound, if not perfect, is still above average considering the album is a low-budget, self-produced recording.

Tasteful, well executed, eclectic and definitely recommended if you're into the better neo-prog.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :



Thanks Magal

Black Page • Neo-Prog (Japan)


BLACK PAGE were formed in the mid 1980s as a Japanese rock quartet by Bunmei OGAWA (keyboards), Itsufumi OGAWA (guitars), Kozo SUGANUMA (drums), and Tsuneo KOMINE (bass) - already all of them had been musically professional. Regardless of their sense of humour cultivated in Osaka, they had played lots of gigs with their astonishing technique - featuring Itsufumi's complex guitar play much influenced by Alan Holdsworth, Bunmei's Emerson-ish thrilling keyboard explosion, aggressive drumming by Kozo called 'Tekazu-Oh' (in English, The King Of Full Speed ... sorry no appropriate expression here), and Tsuneo's strictly precise bass-quake. In 1986 BLACK PAGE released their one and only album 'Open The Next Page', in that their terrific technical approaches could be remarkably approved by progressive freaks all around the world, but sad to say, they were disbanded soon after that. Each ex-member is currently active as a music tutor or one of members in newer rock outfits in Japan.

The frontman Bunmei has played as a session keyboardist in various Japanese combos but sadly passed away at the age of 53 upon June 25, 2014.



From Magal, The Fisherman

BLACK SEPTEMBER - Symphonic Prog • United States


In 1992 keyboard player Michael West released his solo album "God Sex Money", produced by Bill Berends from USA 'power-progrock' band MASTERMIND. Two years later that collaboration between Bill and Michael led to the production and release from the eponymous debut CD by BLACK SEPTEMBER. This four piece formation featured Micheal West on keyboards, Jason Harper on violin, bass and lead vocals, Jon Wilson on drums and percussion and Freddy Lutz on saxophone, bass and backing vocals. Later in an interview in the late Nineties Bill Berends revealed that he was not pleased with the choice from Michael West to release the BLACK SEPTEMBER album on the Italian progrock label Mellow Records.

BLACK SEPTEMBER their music is often bombastic featuring dazzling keyboard work (with strong echoes from KEITH EMERSON and RICK WAKEMAN but modern sounding), a dynamic and propulsive rhythm-section, swirling violin play and some fiery saxophone.




From Magal, The Fisherman

BLAKULLA Symphonic Prog • Sweden


BLÅKULLA are a mid-70's prog quintet from Gothenburg. Along with ATLAS and KAIPA, they were one of the few Swedish bands that played symphonic rock at the time. They practised their chops doing hard blues à la CREAM and DEEP PURPLE, and their brand of symphonic rock isn't entirely devoid of those early influences. 

Their only legacy, an eponymous album released in 1975, is a mixture of roughness and typical Scandinavian melancholy, featuring swirling organs and gutsy guitar numbers as well as slightly folksy acoustic pieces. The guitar play, which varies from aggressive to melodic, is highly reminiscent of Steve HOWE but more fuzzy and distorted; the keyboards are also very YES like but less flamboyant than Rick WAKEMAN's. All vocals are sung in Swedish and most themes (although relatively short except for an epic 10-min. +) are well developed. The original LP goes for $300-$400 on the underground market. Luckily, the 1997 cd version goes for much less and also contains three previously unreleased demos from 1974 that feature the heavier, more blues-oriented material of their early days.

Recommended if you like heavy vintage Swedish prog and don't mind the slightly muddled production.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :



From Magal, The Fisherman

terça-feira, 28 de março de 2017

Blank Manuskript • Symphonic Prog (Austria)


The Blank Manuskript is a Project from central Europe, situated in mountainous Austria. The whole project is organized by the two musicians Dominik Wallner (Keys, Vocals) and Alfons Wohlmuth (Bass, Flute, Vocals). The band's musical output can best be described as Progressive Rock, or - to be specific -Art-Rock with a special attention towards the narrative elements. The Band's aim is to present a story with their music, which means that the music itself is written to fit the intentional narration. 

The band was formed in late 2007 by the trio Christian Breckner, Dominik Wallner and Alfons Wohlmuth. After substantiating their style and intention, they started writing the concept and musical material for their first project "Tales from an Island - Impressions from Rapa Nui". Alfons Wohlmuth came up first with the idea to work on this topic. Due to the fact, that these stories were widely unknown and have not been used for a concept album before, the band started to gather all the material they could get. Within weeks a narrative concept was finished and the work on the compositions was ready to start. The musical material itself was mostly written by Dominik Wallner, but the influence from the others enriched the compositions on this album and gave the songs a unique style. Dominik Wallner is a classical trained piano player, who studies at University Mozarteum Salzburg taking great influences from various jazz-seminars; Christian Breckner is a studied Classical Guitar-player and an experienced live-player who played in a ska-band for years; Alfons Wohlmuth is a self-taught Progressive Rock enthusiast, able to play several different instruments and providing most of the band's lyrics. The search for a skilled drummer didn't take long, for they were soon joined by Elias Papaioannou. During their work on the material, it became clear, that the recordings will need much more musicians than the original line-up provided, so Blank Manuskript hired other session musicians to reach their expectation of the album. The recording sessions, which were lead by Clemens Wannemacher, started in the beginning of June 2008. The final mix of the album was approved at the beginning of December. The album was released in early 2009 and the live-presentation, featuring 8 musicians on stage, was a big success. Soon the band got requests from the famous Colossus-Projects, to record tracks for three of their projects. This was happily accepted. Involved in these works, a stressful and busy period started to haunt the band, which was faced by immediate changes in the line-up, forcing the male vocalist Jakob Aistleitner to play drums. Nevertheless the band was able to recruit friends, spread out all over Austria and managed this difficult situation. Manuel Schönegger, a highly skilled Jazz Musician and Tonmeister in Vienna was mainly responsible for these projects to be realized. 

The offer to play at the Baltic Prog Festival at Lithuania gave Blank Manuskript an opportunity to form a working live-band, which brought the new line-up together including the most needed musicians for their performances. The newest members of the project are the two South American musicians Victor de la Rosa and Camillo Mainque-Jenny. This Latin-American influence opened new horizons for Blank Manuskripts musical appearance. The current live line-up includes: 

Dominik Wallner: Grand Piano, Fender Rhodes, Organ, Synthesizer, Vocals 
Alfons Wohlmuth: Bass, Flute, Vocals 
Christian Breckner: Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar, Vocals 
Jakob Aistleitner: Saxophone, Flute, Vocals 
Camillo Mainque-Jenny: Drums 
Victor de la Rosa: Percussion

Blank Manuskript is a very solid band formed by skilled musicians who capture the spirit of the 70's without falling in the common vice of copying the style of the pioneer bands, as a fact they create an original sound totally progressive

Iván Melgar Morey




From Magal, The Fisherman

BLEZQI ZATSAZ - Symphonic Prog • Brazil


BLEZQI ZATSAZ is led by keyboard player Fabio Ribeiro. On their debut album "The Rise and Fall of Passionate Sanity" from '91 he uses an amazing array of Japanese keyboards (Korg, Yamaha, Casio and Roland) and vintage synthesizers like the Minimoog, ARP Odessey and Oberheim Matrix. The compositions sound pleasant with lots of orchestral, sumptuous and spectacular keyboard play and some fine guitar solo's but it's so obvious that this is a tribute to Rick WAKEMAN, many times you got the idea that you're listening to the albums from the early Rick WAKEMAN era. And I traced echoes from bands like the Hungarian SOLARIS, especially their propulsive and bombastic approach. If you're up to keyboard driven Prog Rock, you will have a good time with BLEZQI ZATSAZ but it's not very memorable or original music. 

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
Fan & official Prog Archives collaborator





Frm Magal, The Fisherman



Biglietto Per L'Inferno • Rock Progressivo Italiano


Biglietto Per L'Inferno biography (http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=40)
Considered by many as being one of the best expressions of Italian progressive music. After have been known at the Festival Be-In of Naples (June 1973), they recorded one single album with the same band name, released by Trident, revealing great musical passages mainly using synthesizers. 
They attended several Italian music festivals with fair results thanks mainly to singer, Claudio Canali, who moved through the stage, with great scenic approach. After disbanded a second effort was only released in 1992, titled "Il tempo della semina", containing material recorded in 1974. 

Their debut is considered a small jewel, blending symphonic prog with hard rock. Influences range from GENTLE GIANT, to JETHRO TULL and BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO. Their second album "Il Tempo Della Semina" should appeal to fans of PFM, FOCUS and BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST. It finds the band taking a more commercial path, mostly abandoning the hard rock element. 

The band line-up was: Giuseppe Banfi (keyboards); Giuseppe Cossa (keyboards); Mauro Gnecchi (drums); Marco Mainetti (guitars); Fausto Branchini (bass); Claudio Canali (flute, vocals).

RECOMMENDED!





From Magal, The Fisherman

BLIND EGO - Neo-Prog • Germany


Blind Ego is the "solo" side project of RPWL guitarist Karlheinz "Kalle" Wallner. Wallner states that the Ego part of the name is derived from his desire to make music from a very personal space. He says that Blind comes from his total commitment to this solo work. 

The band assembled for this project is a prog super group. He takes on RPWL bandmate Yogi Lang as a musician and producer, but he is credited as a guest, instead of a full member of the band. Tommy Eberhardt (from Legazy and Beatfreaks) plays drums, John Jowitt (from IQ and Arena) plays bass, and the vocals are split between John Mitchell (It Bites, Arena, The Urbane, and Kino) and Paul Wrightson (from Arena). Kalle states that John was best for the more "rock like" songs, while Paul was better for the more emotional numbers. There is another guest of note on this album too. While recording Wrigtson's vocals, Clive Nolan also added his own backing vocals. I think there is a new law that states, Clive Nolan must be included in all Neo collaborations of the new millennium. For the live lineup, Rwin Reider replaces Eberhardt on drums, Wrightson takes the vocals alone, and Yogi Lang becomes full member on keyboards.

Although there is a more straightforward approach than RPWL, the metal tendencies are still there. I believe the Neo truly comes from the influence of the rest of the band. Some say that it even smacks of AOR. So, basically what we have is a metal guy trying to make some more widely accessible music. The credentials of the musicians on this project are impressive. Does it work? That's for the listener to decide.

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)



From Magal, The Fisherman

segunda-feira, 27 de março de 2017

Hamilton Bohannon - Disco Funk Pioneer


Hamilton Frederick Bohannon (born March 7, 1942), often credited and known professionally simply as Bohannon, is an American percussionist, band leader, songwriter and record producer, who was one of the leading figures in 1970s disco music.

He was born in Newnan, Georgia, and learned the drums at school. He began playing in local bands, one of which featured guitarist Jimi Hendrix, before graduating from Clark College, Atlanta with a degree in music and secondary education. After a brief period as a schoolteacher, he was recruited in 1964 as drummer in 13-year-old Stevie Wonder's touring band. He moved to Detroit in 1967, where he was employed by Motown as the leader and arranger of Bohannon & The Motown Sound, who provided backing for many of the label's top acts on tour, including Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Four Tops and others.

When Motown moved from Detroit to Los Angeles, Bohannon stayed behind to form his own ensemble, featuring members of local band, The Fabulous Counts and including such musicians as Ray Parker Jr. and Dennis Coffey. He signed in 1972 with the Dakar label run by producer Carl Davis, and released his debut album Stop & Go in early 1973. This was followed by five more albums for the label over the next two years, on which he "perfected his formula of heavy, thudding bass accents and aggressive rhythms". Although several of his tracks were club hits, he had limited chart success. His first hit single, in 1974, was "South African Man", which reached no.78 on the Billboard R&B chart but had more success in the UK, where it reached no.22 on the pop chart. This was followed up in 1975 by "Foot Stompin Music" - his only record to reach the US Billboard Hot 100 - and "Disco Stomp", his biggest hit in the UK where it reached number 6.


In 1976, Bohannon signed to Mercury Records and two years later had one of his biggest successes with "Let’s Start The Dance," which reached no.9 on the R&B chart and no.7 on the disco chart. "Let's Start the Dance" featured singer Carolyn Crawford, whose subsequent albums Bohannon went on to produce. In 1981, a new mix of "Let's Start the Dance" was successful on the dance charts. In 1980 he established Phase II Records, and continued to have minor hits on the R&B chart for the next three years, using new vocalists Liz Lands and Altrinna Grayson. He signed with MCA Records in 1984 and released several more albums. His last album, It's Time To Jam, was issued on the South Bound label in 1990.

Much of his music has been widely sampled, most notably on Chicago DJ/producer Paul Johnson's 1999 hit "Get Get Down" which heavily sampled Bohannon's "Me and the Gang." Other musicians who have used samples of his music include Jay Z, Digable Planets, and Snoop Dogg. His name was also repeatedly invoked in the Tom Tom Club song "Genius of Love." His composition "Ooh!" was included on Mary J. Blige's album Love & Life in 2003.

In recent years Bohannon has produced a new singer, Governor, on Atlantic Records, as well as working on material with his son, Hamilton Bohannon II and publishing an audiobook memoir of his early years in the music business, Bohannon Speaks from the Beginning.
Bohannon is a devout Christian[2] and dedicated his album Dance Your Ass Off to "God, my master, savior and Jesus Christ". The album also included a disclaimer that "Dance Your Ass Off is not used in the sense of profanity."












Magal is a Funk Fisherman (Thanks)

domingo, 26 de março de 2017

Curtom Funk 1968-1978



Curtom Records was a record label started in 1968 by Curtis Mayfield and Impressions manager Eddie Thomas in 1968. The label's name was a combination of Mayfield's first name and Thomas' last name). Mayfield had previously made attempts at a record label with the "Mayfield" and "Windy C" labels. It is noted for being one of the first-ever record labels owned by an African-American recording artist. Curtom was located in Chicago's former RCA studio (at 1 North Wacker Drive), originally acquired by Mayfield for cutting demos. Along with the Impressions' releases and Mayfield's own solo material, artists on or affiliated with Curtom included the Five Stairsteps, Donny Hathaway (principally as a songwriter/orchestration arranger), Linda Clifford, Baby Huey and the Babysitters, Leroy Hutson, The Natural Four, Bobby Whiteside, Holly Maxwell, the Staple Singers, and Mavis Staples' solo efforts. Most of the acts on Curtom's roster were either produced by Mayfield himself or heavily influenced by his style. Eddie Thomas later developed Curtom subsidiary Thomas records, while Marv Stuart, Mayfield's manager for many years, became a partner in Curtom. The label went through various changes of distribution - first by Buddah Records, then Warner Bros., RSO Records, and finally Boardwalk Records, before closing for good in 1980 due to a decline in popularity of soul music (although the very first Curtom 45s were independently distributed). The Curtom master tapes are now owned by the Warner Music Group and the Mayfield family. All subsequent re-issues have been under Warner's supervision, with the exception of Mayfield's replacement in the Impressions, Leroy Hutson, who owns the rights to his Curtom solo back catalog.





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