...this blog captures in order the albums as I pull these gems off the shelf and groove to them .....

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stomu Yamashta - Go Live (1976)

Stomu Yamashta - Go Live 

  With contibutions from Steve Winwood, Al Di Meola, Pat Thrall and Klaus Schulze this album is a subtle textured album that will float you high into the heavens.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Donald Byrd - Electric Byrd (1970)

Donald Byrd - Electric Byrd 

  I have been a Huge fan of Donald Byrd for some time now and his music never grows weary nor tired sounding.  "Electric Byrd" finds Donald Byrd far from his nest playing in a very "Miles Davis" fusion vein with a certain spacy, floating feeling throughout reaching the psychedelic heights of  that found on "Bitches Brew".  

   Byrd draws on tons of improvisation and add loads of amplification brass effects and creates a certain nebular cosmic effects throughout.   Helping Byrd along the way are some good friends including Airto Morreira (percussion), Duke Pearson (electric piano) and Pepper Adams (sax).  In fact, Byrd has hooked up with 11 others who help create these lush cosmic

   There are three huge space numbers on this album which makes the album absolutely essential and 100% relevant.   

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sly and the Family Stone - There's A Riot Goin' On (1971)

Sly and the Family Stone - There's A Riot Goin' On (SACD)

     There's A Riot Goin' On was the fifth album released by Sylvester Stewart and Funk master Sly Stone and marks a big departure form their earlier albums.   In sharp contrast this album marks a much darker and more forboding soundtrack of America's culture circa 1971!

  This fantastic album is my personal fav of the lot of Sly Stone releases  and clearly they had something to say.   There are some major deep grooves here and some truely funky moments that will keep your toes tapping and your fingers slappin!  

 My fav Sly Stone tune is the funk-a-fried classic "Africa Talks To You" which grooves in at almost nine minutes and features some crazy bass tones and beats (not to mention the best SACD treatment on the disc).

  I am sure there are much deeper reviews of this masterpiece album, but if you are into funk then this album is in your wheelhouse!   

  I was surprised to find this album on SACD from Epic Records from 2013 (last year!)......i had to check a few times myself....

  There are no real liner notes to show who remastered this to SACD nor literature beyond original scroll.   This is definitely not an audiophile recording and I was surprised to find it on SACD format.  Having said that this is not a sonic flop although not a signature disc either.  I think the SACD brings out in fact many of the imperfections and mis-adventures on the original master recordings.  To my ears this SACD sounds muddy and often filtered and less than dynamic.   There are moments where something really stand outs as clearly defined....like a guitar lick or percussion bit.  However the whole album seems pretty flat to my ears and a bit too homogenous.  There is also a lot of hiss on this SACD version and distortion which much have been on the original recording.   

  Overall  i was dissapointed in this version and am glad I only shelled out $9.99 for this recording.....a great album and a lack lustre remix to SACD.  


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ten Years After - Ssssh. (1967)

Ten Years After - Ssssh. 
"Ssssh was released at the same time as they appeared at the Woodstock Festival in August, 1969.   This album showcased Alvin Lee's guitar work and surrounded this with some pretty psychy vibes.   

      Sssssh was their first hit album in the U.S. and peaked at number 20 that year.  Fans of TYA regard this album as one of the pinnacle albums.  Alvin Lee was one of the true guitar mavericks of the 60's and no question this album gets to showcase his talents.  

The gatefold album is one of the psychy'est of them all with a cover and centerfold that you will never forget which was photographed by Graham Nash.   This album contains two of my fav TYA tunes with good mirning little schoolgirl" and "I woke up this morning".


Flaming Ember - Westbound #9 (1970)

Flaming Ember - Westbound #9 

  The Flaming Ember were originally from Detroit Michigan and had a number of big hits in 1969 and 1970 before disbanding.  Westbound #9 was the first full length album released under the name the Flaming Ember (they had two) which contains a number of hits including the title track and a song that they would change their name to "Mind, Body and Soul".

  Musically this is beautiful sunshine pop psych with a heavy Motown soul vibe thoughout.  Lead singer (and drummer) Jerry Plunk had a great soulful voice and on "Shades of Green" you can hear his wide emotion lead over the speakers.

The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers (1971)

The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers 

   Along with "Some Girls" and "Let It Bleed" I would say that "Sticky Fingers" is in my top Stones albums.   On Sticky Fingers the Stones laid down a personal album of weary- blues rock infused heavily with drug culture references.   Songs like "Sister Morphine" and "Brownsuger" make obvious references to those nasty addicts and seems to fit the overall mood of the album.  

  This album is famous for having been recorded and written in multiple locations over a long period yet seems to be very consistent and well suited.  Brian Jones dies in 1969 and was replaced by Mick Taylor who does a fantastic job on these recordings.

  The laid back mood of the album is perfect for both Mick Taylor's guitar work and the heavy emotive voice of Mick Jagger.   The last three songs on side two of "Sister Morphine," "Dead Flowers" and "Moon Light  Mile," is an incredible sequence featuring Mick, Keith, Mick Talyor and Ry Cooder.

 No "rock" is unturned on this album!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Marillion - Brave

Marillion - Brave
   I will never forget the excitement i had waiting for my copy of Brave to arrive in the mail.   I loved it then and I still adore this album and personally consider it one of Hogarth eras best! 

  A crazy story line concept album involving a girl lost in her mind as the band unveil her story musically.  Brave contains some of. Marillion's best songs like "the great escape" and "living the big lie".....in fact the whole album is fantastic.