Percussionist PC Muñoz and free-jazz pianist Ira Kamin, who is mostly known for his 1960s blues-based stuff with Michael Bloomfield, Mother Earth and Otis Rush, have recorded a percussion and piano duo album. It’s now available on Bandcamp and it’s free, in more than one sense of the word.
Way back in 1999 Rhino Records started Rhino Handmade, a label devoted to strictly limited edition reissues by artists like Tim Buckley, The Monkees and The Stooges. The Rhino Hadmade catalog included many hard to find or previously unreleased recordings, but for reasons unknown the label dropped from the radar about two years ago.
This week Rhino announced that Rhino Handmade is alive and well and will continue their quest for “material that has been out of print or never-before-released to curate, create, and release exclusive products you won’t find from anyone else.”
Singer, songwriter, musician, and poet Holland Greco‘s debut album “Volume 1″, due out February 2014 on Zappa Records, will mark the first original artist signed this century to the label headed by Gail Zappa.
On her debut album the multi-faceted Greco lives up to the honor with an eclectic musical palette that is in full effect on the album which showcases her double vision in the two halves of “Volume 1″: the light and dark sides of her personality and the deeper, smoke-filled vocals.
In Gail Zappa’s words: “I want to see what we can do with obvious talent, a unique vision, big dreams, and a ukulele.”
Dana Countryman – a longtime friend of our website and former publisher of Cool and Strange Music Magazine – has recently released his new CD “Pop! The Incredible, Fantastic Retro Pop World of Dana Countryman”. The album features 17 sparkling new vocal pop songs, written by Countryman, in many classic ‘retro’ pop styles.
Over the years, Countryman has worn quite a few hats in his musical career. He started writing songs as a teenager. At 19, Countryman started performing in Detroit, playing bass and singing in his first band, The Sparklers, a Beatles copy band. After that, he spent several years living in Hollywood, writing songs there. In the late ‘70s, he was the leader of a Swing vocal group that performed big band tunes at Holiday Inns in Reno, Nevada.
In 2006, Countryman partnered with legendary pioneer electronic musician Jean-Jacques Perrey, recording two CDs of crazy electronic Moog music with him, and the two appeared in concert together, both in Europe and in America. More recently, Countryman wrote a book about Perrey’s life, and released a CD of his own cartoonish electronic instrumental Moog music.
Now, Countryman has shifted gears once again, and has returned to his early singer-songwriter roots. “Pop! The Incredible, Fantastic Retro Pop Music of Dana Countryman” showcases Countryman’s ability to write in a variety of musical ‘retro’ styles, ranging from Bubble-Pop, Motown-esque 60s’ R&B, to 70’s-styled Power Pop, rocky ‘80s power ballads, to love songs that would have made the Carpenters proud.
American guitarist Sebastian “Billy” Mure passed away on September 25th. He was 97 and would have turned 98 on November 4th.
Mure was born in New York and played violin before making guitar his primary instrument. He played in bands while in the service during World War II and found work at radio station WNEW after the war until 1957. In addition to his solo recordings, he worked as a session musician, composer, and arranger.
Billy Mure released countless solo albums, in styles ranging from surf to pop to Hawaiian. Other artists he worked with include Paul Anka, Frankie Laine, Perry Como, Patti Page and Tony Bennett.
In an interview published 3 August 2012 Robert Fripp stated that he had retired from working as a professional musician, citing long-standing differences with Universal Music Group and stating that working within the music industry had become “a joyless exercise in futility”.
Now, about a year later Fripp writes in his online diary: “King Crimson might return to active service” and a bit later “King Crimson is in motion. This is a very different reformation to what has gone before: seven players, four English and three American, with three drummers.”
The entry is dated 6th September 2013, but it was only today that we were alerted to this extremely exciting news by a post on Something Else! Reviews. The site reports: “[The reformed King Crimson] will be in a new seven-man lineup with three drummers, according to Fripp. DGMLive’s Sid Smith has confirmed that this edition of Crimson will include Mel Collins, Gavin Harrison, Jakko Jakszyk, Tony Levin, Bill Rieflin, Pat Mastelotto and Fripp.”
Five of the current players were part of 2011′s A Scarcity of Miracles, released by Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins and featuring contributions from Levin and Harrison. King Crimson’s most recent configurations, dating back to 2009, saw Fripp working with Mastelotto, Harrison, Levin and guitarist Adrian Belew, who had been with Crimson since 1981. Collins was previously a member from 1970–72, with a return appearance in 1974.
The differences with Unviversal Music Group mentioned above are apparently close to a settlement. We look forward to any new King Crimson material that may see the light of day!
The box set features 13 of the band’s classic albums, alongside “Out Of Reach”, which has been unavailable in any official format since its original release in 1978, plus “CAN Live”, a bonus live disc featuring the classic CAN line up of Holger Czukay (bass), Michael Karoli (guitar), Jaki Liebezeit (drums) and Irmin Schmidt (keyboards). “CAN Live” was recorded at Sussex University in 1975 and will be unavailable in any format outside of the CAN Vinyl Box.
The box, which will be released on 2 December 2013, includes five posters and a 20-page 12” booklet featuring unseen photographs from the CAN archive and sleevenotes by Alan Warner.
CAN was founded in 1968 by Irmin Schmidt, Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli and Jaki Liebezeit. The group would utilise and transcend all boundaries of ethnic, electronic experimental and modern classical music. The box set reflects the changing eras of the band, the different powerful singers like Malcom Mooney and Damo Suzuki and collaborators such as Reebob Kwaku and Rosko Gee.
The band’s influence has never diminished, and their mark is apparent in the bands who freely acknowledge their importance – from Portishead, James Murphy, New Order, Public Image Ltd, Mogwai and Kanye West (who sampled ‘Sing Swan Song’).
English bassoon and oboe player, composer and political activist Lindsay Cooper died on 18 September after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. She was 62.
Cooper was best known for her work with the band Henry Cow, she was also a member of Comus, National Health, News from Babel and David Thomas and the Pedestrians. She collaborated with a number of musicians, including Chris Cutler and Sally Potter, and co-founded the Feminist Improvising Group. She wrote scores for film and TV and a song cycle Oh Moscow which was performed live around the world in 1987. She also recorded a number of solo albums, including “Rags” (1980), “The Gold Diggers” (1983) and “Music For Other Occasions” (1986).
In late 1973, after having been a member of Comus and doing session work, Henry Cow asked Cooper to join them as a replacement for Geoff Leigh (tenor sax and flute) who had recently left. Her classical training interested the group as they were continually looking for new musical directions. She immediately joined the band in the studio to record their second album “Unrest” (1974). However, following their European tour supporting Captain Beefheart, the group reorganized themselves and asked Cooper to leave, performing as a quartet on their Scandinavian tour of September 1974. But she still continued to guest on their albums and by February 1975 she rejoined the group again and remained a permanent member until they split up in 1978. From 1977, Cooper became one of Henry Cow’s principal composers and contributed a number of compositions to their repertoire, including half of their final album, “Western Culture” (1978).
Cooper was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the late 1970s, but did not disclose it to the musical community until the late 1990s when her illness prevented her from performing live.
His last regular album “Modern Guilt” is five years old already, but it looks like Beck is returning to a more active release schedule. After the recent singles “Defriended” and “I Won’t Be Long” the eclectic multi-instrumentalist now treats us to a new track: “Gimme“.
The physical version of “Gimme” is a double 12″, featuring the regular length vocal and instrumental versions of the track, an extended remix and two halves of a 30-minute extended edit of the track.
Northern Spy Records will release “Merles Just Want To Have Fun”, a tribute to country great Merle Haggard by Bryan and the Haggards featuring Dr. Eugene Chadbourne, on 29 October 2013.
According to the press release “Merles Just Want To Have Fun” is ‘a ridiculous spirited, lovingly raucous tribute to one of country’s greats, Merle Haggard. As with Willie Nelson, there’s a bit of jazzy sensibility to Haggard’s music. The tunes aren’t mere three-chord rockers, giving a sextet of exceptional musicians like Bryan and the Haggards featuring Dr. Eugene Chadbourne plenty to work with’.
The album contains 12 tracks. including classics like “Okee from Muskogee”. The jazzy sounds of the quintet led by saxophonist Bryan Murray mix wonderfully with Eugene Chadbourne’s own brand of rock-meets-bluegrass. In Chadbourne’s own words: “This was what I was trying to do in 1980, get a jazz band to play country and western and get a record label to pay to record it and put it out. The closest I could get to that was Shockabilly and obviously that was a sidetrack. So listening to this is really gratifying! Let’s see if anybody else likes it!”