West Germany

This CD is friggin' fantastic. 'Hymnus for che' features a wonderful group and great performance by Benny Bailey - what a discovery. I wonder how you get hold of those individual Wewerka discs?

The Sonar Kollektiv label, which was established by the Berlin DJ and producer team Jazzanova, has released a number of notable European jazz compilations over the past 10 years. In 2004, the label put out one of it's finest releases in Forum West, which featured a great selection of modern jazz gems that came out of West Germany during the sixties. This compilation, which is a result of the massive collection of unreleased jazz titles archived by the Hans Wewerka's music publishing company, features some of the best and most explorative musicians in the region during this era including Wolfgang Lauth, Hans Koller, Joe Haider, Fritz Pauer, and others. With most of the selections previously tucked away for over 40 years, the compilation helps shine a light on one of the region's most musically creative periods for jazz. I honestly couldn't recommend checking out this compilation more. Truly an eye-opening collection of previously unreleased jazz gems. -Pat Les Stache

Despite the increasing number of compilations of rare jazz recordings in recent years, there has been very little focus on West German jazz from the sixties. How come?

A lack of creative output during this era cannot be blamed. Especially in the sixties, when a new generation of jazz musicians emerged in Germany. This generation was stylistically open, somewhere between modern jazz and avant-garde with a unique European style of expression. Recordings from artists such as Wolfgang Dauner, Joachim Kühn and Albert Mangelsdorff were beginning to appear. These artists would, among others, later establish the world-wide reputation of German jazz musicians. The question "How come?" still remains.

One clear reason is, apart from the major music companies with their jazz departments, the relatively small number of independent jazz labels that existed at the time. A well-known example of an independent German label is the SABA record label. It was founded in 1962 and was headed by Hans Georg Brunner Schwer. He was later in 1968 to found MPS (Musik Produktion Schwarzwald). Although the label MPS became the biggest independent in Europe, by far the most jazz releases on the German market at this time were predominantly recordings from America or random releases from neighbouring countries such as France or England.

So where are all the recordings, which must have been produced in this highly creative period, if they weren't brought out as records? They have, in fact, been slumbering, partly forgotten, partly hidden in publishers' archives. They had acquired the rights to most of the recordings of the time.

This compilation is a result of the Hans Wewerka's music publishing company, which is one of the most comprehensive publishing archives in West Germany. Its repertoire contains more than 12,000 titles of all music styles and, in particular, a jazz catalogue with recordings from the sixties by top-ranking national and international musicians. From this archive we have chosen tracks that will be released for the first time, except the recordings from Wolfgang Dauner and Albert Mangelsdorff (vinyl only).

Who is the man behind these recordings? Right from his birth Hans Wewerka was surrounded by music. Famous soloists of their time visited and performed contemporary chamber music in his parents' house in Vienna. Consequently, he has always had contact to the music industry. Hans Wewerka progressed through life with two professions. On the one hand, he was a film and television producer -- he began as a production manager in 1945 for the Austrian news reel and film production company in Vienna and from 1949 onwards he oversaw the introduction of the first commissions for American TV series. On the other hand, he also headed his own publishing company from 1946 onwards.

Wewerka, who is a complete autodidact and plays two instruments (piano and bassoon), never committed himself to one particular style. His goal was always to work with the best musicians. Whether as in 1949, when he made the first TV series for America and was busy with the Vienna Philharmonic as a TV and music producer, or when working on the many jazz recordings which form the foundation for this compilation. Wewerka never allowed himself to be restricted. Be it folk music, wind or light opera, the quality of the recordings and the participating musicians was of crucial importance to him. It was the same with jazz, which holds a special place in his heart. He established Vienna's first jazz club, where from the beginning, he had contact to world class musicians. For example, Joe Zawinul and Friedrich Gulda played jazz on two pianos in his club.

However, it would have been too one-sided for him to concentrate only on the jazz label. He focussed more on his publishing company and continually tried to combine the mediums of music and TV. He describes himself happily as a cross-mediant. In 1952 he moved from Vienna to Germany and continued work on his publishing company, Edition Modern in Neuburg by the Donau. In the following years, Edition Modern developed into one of the leading jazz publishers in Germany. Another example of his affinity to jazz, is the fact that in 1947 Wewerka set up the magazine Musikwelt, this was the predecessor of today's German Jazz Podium. He acquired a very good reputation among musicians and especially among the young German jazz enthusiasts thanks to his many connections and contacts, his commitment, openness and finally his willingness to take financial risks. Wewerka was quick to act whenever a famous jazz musician was in his new home town, Munich, and would invite them for spontaneous sessions in his studio. Because of this, many first class recordings with national and international greats exist, especially from the sixties. He was and still is a workaholic, who produced jazz out of pure enthusiasm. In his long career, he can look back on about 1500 LP productions of all different musical branches and about 400 TV and film productions. In the fifties he belonged to the most sought-after film producers and received offers from Metro-Goldwyn Mayer in America. He worked as a music producer not only in Germany, but also in America and England and soon acquired a reputation in the scene as a trouble shooter. 

Why has the overwhelming majority of his jazz productions never been released?

Wewerka had a contract with EMI for a short time, but, for many reasons, his sub-label "Orange" was never taken seriously by the record company. He was also too busy as a producer and publisher to be able to bring in the required income to make the label successful. This meant that many of the recordings just lay in his archive and the majority of them were never commercially released. Due to Wewerka's worldwide connections, the recordings were also available in large international archives and were used in England and America for film and TV productions.

His very high production standards are obvious. Many of the recordings here were recorded on the first take. Wewerka was helped by many experienced recording technicians, particularly Willi Schmidt. According to Wewerka, his personal relationship with the musicians was of utmost importance for the quality of the production. As a kind of patron he brought the musicians together in varied sessions and gave them the possibility to express themselves in new formations and artistic ideas. Because most of the sessions had no commercial purpose, Wewerka offered the musicians a unique creative forum. 

*** 

The opening track is from the Wolfgang Lauth sextet with the fitting title of "Intrada". His composition from 1967 features, in addition to Emil Mangelsdorff on the flute, in particular the vibraphone player Fritz Hartschuh. Lauth was born in 1931. Since the mid-fifties he belonged to the leading jazz pianists in Germany. He regularly worked on productions for TV and radio, for cabaret, radio plays and the film industry. Due to his skills he was twice voted Germany's most popular jazz musician.

The Austrian Hans Koller is one of the few musicians here, who already had an international reputation in the sixties and extensive artistic experience. Already since the fifties he had developed such a unique expressive playing style on the tenor saxophone, that jazz from the German-speaking world was often described as being from "Koller-Land". Hans Wewerka had a very long-lasting close friendship with Koller from the beginning of his career to the end. So it is no surprise that he described him as one of his driving forces in jazz and he was one of the first who produced him. This recording with Fritz Pauer, Hans Rettenbacher and Victor Plasil from 1962, possesses such a high standard that six tracks alone from this extraordinary session are included on this compilation. Each of Koller's compositions, such as the modern swing interpretations "Mingus Privat", "Call Me Eric" and "Zoot", as well as his exploration of Bossa Nova in the pieces "Casa Loma" and "Lucky Tom" or the waltz "Saint John Perse", represent timeless pieces of modern jazz.

Another musician, who was a close friend of Hans Wewerka and who spent many hours in the studio with him, is the pianist Joe Haider. They often worked together because Haider had opened the jazz club "Domicile" in Munich in the sixties and was the house pianist in this internationally renowned venue for many years. The two tracks "Straight Out" and "Eternal Oil Lamp" stem from numerous sessions with Haider. Haider's septet performed these with the exiled American Benny Bailey. Haider und Bailey often worked together in the years to come. Both of them later taught at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern, where Joe Haider was the director from 1984 to 1995. This was after Haider had founded his labels Ego Records und JHM (Joe Haider Music). In addition to the two septet pieces, this compilation also includes another, "Hymnus For Che", a homage to the rebel Ché Guevara. Haider's septet was enlarged here to include a trombonist and a trumpet player.

A musician of the same calibre is the pianist, Wolfgang Dauner. Born in Stuttgart in 1935, he formed his own trio in 1963 with the bassist Eberhard Weber and the American drummer Fred Braceful. Two of the trio's tracks "Freefall" and "Ten Notices" appear here. Dauner belonged to the avant-garde pianists in Germany. He is regarded as one of the most experimental pianists in the whole of Europe. Like many German musicians he released several recordings on the previously mentioned label MPS. In 1975, he set up his own band United Jazz Rock Ensemble and he ran his own record label Mood Records. The chosen recordings from this trio were originally released by CBS in 1964. Due to the long-lasting cooperation between Horst Lippman, Wolfgang Rau and Hans Wewerka, the recordings became part of the Wewerka archive.

When writing about outstanding pianists, one name can obviously not be ignored, a name which, more than any other, helped German jazz to international recognition. Joachim Kühn, born in 1944 in Leipzig. He formed his first trio and later his first quartet with his older brother Rolf Kühn in 1966. Unfortunately only a very few recordings from this quartet, which played until 1969, exist. One of the first and only sessions by this unique formation which was made up of the bassist Günter Lenz and the drummer Ralph Hübner, took place in the winter of 1966. This historic quartet also represented a reunion for the two brothers, shortly after Joachim had followed Rolf to West Germany. "Arabia Rock" is an impressive testament to how the quartet, very early on, set itself aside with a new sound and strived to achieve new forms of jazz expression. This approach to jazz is something, which both brothers in their long careers have consistently pursued.

Another excellent pianist is the Vienna-born Fritz Pauer. After studying, he was member of Fatty George's band and the Hans Koller quartet until he founded his own trio in 1964. In 1966 he toured throughout Europe with this trio and was "Winner of the International Competition of Modern Jazz" in Vienna. At the same time, Pauer worked as an arranger for the SFB Radio band and as a composer for theatrical plays. Later he was a member of and composer for the ORF Radio band. Fritz Pauer and Hans Wewerka also had a long friendship from which many productions resulted. The titles "Beta Draco" und "Red Roof" were chosen from two of these recording sessions in 1966. These are examples of the Pauer trio, which consisted of drummer Joe Nay and bassist Dieter Gützkow, at its best.

Ronnie Ross, who unfortunately died in 1991, was possibly the leading European jazz baritone saxophonist of the sixties. He owed this to Don Rendell, as he persuaded him to change from the tenor saxophone to the unpopular baritone saxophone in the fifties. Initially, he played at the beginning of the sixties in small groups. He received further international recognition by working together with the Clarke Boland big band, and was a much sought-after side man. Without a doubt, Ronnie Ross, who was often a guest in Germany, was one of the main advertisements for British jazz. As was the case when Wewerka produced him and his band in Munich in 1965. Apart from Joe Haider, Don Menza, Rick Kiefer, Rudi Füssers und Cees See, one has to highlight Peter Trunk. This exceptional bassist tragically died in 1973 following a car crash. He added a few brilliant compositions to the sessions, from which "Tranquology" as well as Ross' own composition "Last Of The Wine" have been chosen.

Bonus Track LP: 
Albert Mangelsdorff was the first jazz musician to develop the multi-tone playing style. As early as the fifties, he was already ranked among the premiere league of European jazz musicians due to his unique style - a mixture of free and cool elements. He was introduced to jazz at the age of 12 by his brother Emil, who also appears on this compilation (see Wolfgang Lauth). It was only at the age of 19, that Albert Mangelsdorff settled for the trombone, the instrument that he would, a few years later, revolutionize with his multi-tone style of playing. One of his numerous tours was to Asia for the Goethe Institute in 1964. The result of the tour was a unique recording, a homage to the different Asian music cultures with the title "Now Jazz Ramwong". This album brought him international recognition and is one of the most important milestones of his long artistic career. "Sakura Waltz" has been chosen from it for this compilation. Mangelsdorff established his quintet in 1961 and it was made up of Heinz Sauer (tenor), Günter Kronberg (alto), Günter Lenz (bass) und Ralf Hübner (drums). It was to last until 1971.

This compilation can only provide a glimpse into the vaults of the Hans Wewerka archive. Nevertheless, the chosen tracks bear witness to a very important creative period in the West-German jazz-scene. Almost 40 years after being recorded, these tracks well deserve to be finally released.

1. Wolfgang Lauth Sextet - Intrada 2:22
2. Hans Koller - Mingus Privat 3:51
3. Joe Haider Septet - Straight Out 5:34
4. Hans Koller - Casa Loma 2:50
5. Joe Haider & His Orchestra - Hymnus For Che 5:11
6. Wolfgang Dauner Trio - Freefall 3:47
7. Rolf & Joachim Kühn Quartet - Arabia Rock 7:11
8. Ronnie Ross & His Band - Tranquology 6:36
9. Hans Koller Ensemble - Saint John Perse 4:33
10. Ronnie Ross & His Band - Last Of The Wine 2:59
11. Joe Nay & Fritz Pauer - Beta Draco 4:10
12. Hans Koller - Zoot 2:03
13. Wolfgang Dauner Trio - Ten Notices 5:40
14. Fritz Pauer Trio - Red Roof 3:40
15. Hans Koller - Call Me Eric 4:30
16. Joe Haider Septet - Eternal Oil Lamp 5:47
17. Hans Koller - Lucky Tom 2:45
18. Albert Mangelsdorff - Sakura Waltz (Bonus Track) 3:26

Notes
Incl. booklet

Akido

Produced by Faces' Ronnie Lane and taped in London's Marquee Studios, this lost Afro-funk classic was originally released in North America only in August 1972, and makes its CD debut here. Consisting of Ghanaian percussionist Speedy Acquaye (who also worked with The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart and many others), Nigerian bassist Biddy Wright (a member of the legendary Blo), Jamaican conga drummer Jeff Whittaker and London-based guitarist Peter Andrews, the quartet delivers a hard-hitting, irresistibly funky blend of rock and funk that's sure to appeal to beat-diggers everywhere.

1. Awade (We Have Come) 6:17
2. Psychedelic Baby 3:09
3. Midnight Lady 3:04
4. Happy Song 4:57
5. Jo Jo Lo (Delicate Beauty) 4:02
6. Gone With Yesterday 3:21
7. Confusion 5:30
8. Wajo (Come And Dance) 4:39
9. Blow 5:08

Notes
Incl. booklet

Romania

"Obscure jazz from a country marked by obscurantism"

Once again it is time for JAZZANOVA and STEPHAN STEIGLEDER to give jazz fans around the world a tour through the dusty rooms of a previously unexplored record archive.

With their Formation 60 compilation the team trawled the vaults of east german Amiga label, for Go Right they ventured into the depths of the Polish national Muza archive and for the critically acclaimed collections Forum West  (SK019CD/LP) and Focus Jazz (SK108CD/LP) they entered the hallowed halls of the HANS WEWERKA archive. If you thought Focus Jazz was already strongly orientated towards east europe, this time the team have ventured further than ever in that direction and delved into the music of a country previously better known for its folklore than its modern jazz: Romania.

Bearing in mind the great number of east european jazz compilations it’s a wonder that no retrospective of the Romanian Electrecord label has been released so far. After all a great many first class jazz albums have been release on the label under the title Seria Jazz since the early 60’s. And it is from this series that the tracks for this compilation have been selected.

That Romanian musicians have reached so few ears in other countries was more than anything down to the strict politics and rules set down by Ceaucescu’s government, which restricted musicians especially in their freedom to travel. So the country’s jazz scene remained pretty much unknown abroad and especially in the west.

This compilation introduces outstanding artists from the jazz scene of the day; a group of musicians who would meet time and again for recording sessions but always in different formations, and from whom only a few are still active today. Most notably there’s the bassist JOHNNY RADUCANU, the incredible singer AURA URZICEANU, or the pianist of Italian origin GUIDO MANUSARDI, who produced loads for the Electrecord label.

As well as presenting first class jazz, the „Romanian Jazz“  compilation shows that neither were these Romanian productions a rejection of their musical tradition, nor were they simple imitations of west european or American jazz-greats. Quite the opposite, the tension between western inspiration and their own Balkan tradition enabled the players to come up with their own very unique style of jazz. This music is the proof that Romanian jazz is every bit as good as its international counterpart and has absolutely earned the right to finally be heard by an international audience. „Romanian Jazz“ is an attempt to finally give this music the respect that it has long since deserved.

Too small a selection from an archive including surprisingly wonderful jazz.

What a mighty impressive start! For a moment I suspected jazz from the land then ruled by Ceausescu might have been as wonderful as he wanted everybody to believe 'his' Romania was. Then I looked up Guido Manusardi, whom one reviewer has supposed was the wonderful tenor saxophonist on the opening track. Manusardi turns out to be Italian, and a very considerable pianist. There is reason to believe the tenor saxophonist, of dark and resonant sound, is actually Jerry Bergonzi. I want to hear more of that long-past quartet now. I should have had more info, though, as reviewer.

The pianist-leader on the second title does, however, turn out to be not only Romanian, but (leaving aside questions of a possible grandfather) a reasonable candidate for the title "Father of Romanian Jazz": Johnny Raducanu. He has a lighter sound than Manusardi, and with it he swings quite as much. Given that Milcho Leviev came out of Bulgaria around the same 1960s-'70s period, jazz of a high quality seems to have been current as good music in some areas behind the then-Iron Curtain (Leviev's recent solo piano CD of the music of Don Ellis emphasizes his greatness as a jazz pianist, and the long-standing lack of wider publicity that's denied a wider hearing to some of the best jazzmen alive now in the USA).

Elsewhere in that past breeding ground for all the vices governments can develop, the Soviet bloc, jazz was frowned on and threatened with jail, and became a vehicle of dissidence. Czechoslovakia comes to mind, and so does some decidedly rebarbative stuff I'm certainly glad was around to offend officialdom. Rather a laugh hearing it, once upon a time, but not normally to be listened to for long these days.

There's nothing of that sort here, I have to insist. On the present CD there is the Orchestra Universitatii de Jazz din Illinois, and that turns out to have been John Garvey's Illinois State University Jazz Orchestra, in the late 1960s and glorious and unsung. One or two reviewers have heard the original ten-inch (25cm) vinyl issue, and only from them do I know that the six minute 'performance' reissued here has been cut back from an actual performance about twice as long. And that this isn't the best bits but a very well edited half of something which was (and if it can be found, is) of the same standard all the way through. There's beautiful alto playing over a terrific score, so characterfully individual it might have been taken for rather a Romanian product up to American standards, rather than American and free of stock and hackneyed features. Other reviewers have mentioned a trumpeter in the Illinois band who subsequently and deservedly had something of a reputation. Remember the other guys whose names I've not been able to find.

I'm fairly sure already that there should have been at least two CDs rather than just one, with more Manusardi here, and Raducanu's "Balada", which opens with bass and then goes into a big band arrangement with strong bass clarinet presence in the reeds and impressive solos on guitar, trumpet, and trombone.

Multitracking or looping renders irrelevant whether Aura Urziceanu is singing in any known language on the first of two tracks which feature her, where the tenor solo is impressive, and the trombone, over a rhythm section grounded on electric piano. On her other number, "Nu-Mi Cere Sa Cint", Ms. Urziceanu is revealed as a very noteworthy jazz, and scat, singer, and Romanian as a language which can be swung,

The Paul Weiner Quartet starts with piano, bass, and drums, presumably drawing on Romanian ethnic sources for intriguing rhythm patterns and thematic material not unlike that which allowed the soloists in Ms. Urziceano’s band to show their class. Elsewhere, there's Marius Popp, clarinet and wild flute, and the so-called Vocal Jazz Quartet, a singing group rather than four instrumentalists who protest a lot. They work in a nice enough Balkan Astrud Gilberto vein, but then there's a tenor saxophonist playing with some fire accompanied by a good old-fashioned electric piano-cum-organ and rhythm. This is more fun than the earlier titles on the set, which are frankly more invigorating than it's safe to take for granted.

In days distant if not necessarily dim (maybe 1960, to judge from reading jazz reviews from before my time), selections of odd tracks from this and that LP which had come and gone would appear, the dominant major companies supposing there was no longer a viable market for the original complete albums. Jazz writers of that time would recommend some of these samplings, by names not known to a wider public, as better than nothing, though in some places of exceptional musical worth. And here I am, forty-five years later, glad to have heard everything on this set, wishing, however, that a two- or three-CD set had been compiled from the most unexpected source in Romanian state record company archives, but certainly recommending the disc. -Robert R. Calder

It was five years ago that Sonar Kollektiv received high praise with the release of the set “Romanian Jazz – Jazz From The Electrecord Archives 1966 - 1978”. And not only by jazz afficinados as a matter of course. Renegotiations of the licensing contracts concluded in having the compilation now finally obtainable in digital format.

As an encore there are four additional tracks available out of the „Seria Jazz“ by the former Communist Romanian national record company Electrecord. The 1932 founded record label is – similar to the GDR imprint Amiga – infamous for its poor quality regarding recordings as well as pressings. That’s why Sonar Kollektiv (with Jürgen von Knoblauch leading the way) put time and effort into remastering all (!) the tracks featured on the compilation. At the “Time Tools Mastering” studio in Hannover the songs were treated in order to shine in a new light and now sound much better than the outmoded communist originals.

Two of the four extra tracks have been pressed on 7” vinyl. On one side there is “Nu Privi Inapoi” by piano whiz Ion Baciu Jr. (off his Electrecord album “Jazz” from 1977). The McCoy Tyner of the East tickles the ivories in such a sophistcated style as if the one and only John Coltrane is accompanying him. The comparison isn’t flawed because next to Dan Dimitriu on bass, Nicolae Farcas on trombone and Mihai Farcas on drums, Dan Mandrila on tenor sax is actually really reminiscent of the legendary late “Trane”. The flip side provides further evidence with “Sonet” off Mandrila’s own album “Alter Ego” from 1980. Backed up by the same line-up as on side A (except for Marian Toroimac on drums and supplementary Radu Goldis on guitar, Costin Petrescu on percussion and Idu Barbu on synthesizer) Dan Mandrila (1938-1992) displays impressively that even without any socialist doctrine he would have been the most important saxophone player of Romania. The fusion piece “Sonet” can easily stand up to any US production of the same age. And now you can enjoy it even more thanks to the audio restoration courtesy of Sonar Kollektiv. (Tracks taken from Various Artists - Romanian Jazz: Jazz From The Electrecord Archives 1966-1978).

1. Paul Weiner Quartet - Colinda P 3:46
2. Guido Manusardi - Blues for Vali 4:04
3. Johnny Raducanu - Blues Minor 4:24
4. Orchestra Universitatii de Jazz din Illinois - Latino 5:24
5. Johnny Raducanu - Balada 4:18
6. Aura Urziceanu - Iarna, iarna 5:31
7. Guido Manusardi - Arriving Soon 5:28
8. Marius Popp - Xybaba 11:35
9. Aura Urziceanu - Nu-mi cere sa 2:14
10. Vocal Jazz Quartet - Cercuri 3:10
11. Dan Mandrila - Sonet 5:31
12. Guido Manusardi - Tandarica 8:45
13. Ion Baciu - Nu Privi Inapoi 5:32
14. Radu Ghizasan - Nunta 4:46

Africa–India

"What did South Africa and South East Asia of the 1940s and 50s have in common? In both places the local population was trying to gain independence from British colonialism. Although colonialism is never a good thing, there are always some positive outcomes when two cultures collide, especially when it comes to music. The Zulu of South Africa are the largest ethnic group in the country and are well known for their rich musical traditions. In the 1940s, however, Zulu musicians began fusing traditional Zulu choral music (often sung by migrant mine workers), like Mbube and Isicathamiya, with the instruments and rhythms of Western jazz. A continent away in India, we see that the same kind of musical revolution was taking place during this same period. Calcutta in particular became a musical hotbed beginning in WWII, when it became one of the major ports for the South East Asian Theatre of the War. The jazz scene was mainly centered on the house bands from the various luxury hotels and British social clubs, with these bands often recording for the South East Asian division of E.M.I. Interestingly, one of the hottest stars on this scene during the 1940s was Teddy Weatherford, an African American 'expat' from the Chicago jazz scene. Beginning in 1942, following the Japanese invasion of Burma (Myanmar), hundreds of thousands of refugees poured into India, among these great jazz musicians like Reuben Solomon (of Iraqi Jewish descent) of 'The Rangoon Gymkhana Club' fame. Batuk Nandy, on the other hand, was a well-known steel guitar player who rose to fame by making 'filmi' music for Bollywood films, while Bismillah Khan was an Indian shehnai (a traditional flute-like instrument) master, and one of only three classical musicians to have ever won the Bharat Ratna prize, the highest civilian prize in India. Khan was also one of the few musicians to perform at Delhi's Red Fort in 1947 for India's Independence celebrations. Despite the obvious negative outcomes, different cultures and religions forced together in the face of economic and political adversity has historically been a recipe for great music, and as this album testifies, India and South Africa were no different."

Africa
A1 Casper Shiki & His Guitar - Umtandaso 2:43
A2 Latin Stars - Sarah 2:25
A3 Latin Stars = Umama Uleth'n Shugela 2:53
A4 Nysaland Club Singers - Kapasure 2:44
A5 Casper Kasino Kids - Ungu Wam' 2:29
A6 Casper Kasino Kids - Thula Thula 2:27
A7 Dorothy Masuka With Her Trio - Ma Ndi Phupha Wena 2:42
A8 Groupo De Totoko Francois - Bololo O Kolilo 2:49
A9 Mametigudi & His Dancers - Hamba Na Lo Isoko La Yo 3:00
India
B1 The Rangoon Gymkhanna Club Orchestra - My Melancholy Baby 2:44
B2 Teddy Weatherford & His Band - Hol Down 2:47
B3 Taj Mahal Hotel Dance Orchestra - Chattanooga Choo Choo 3:05
B4 Rueben Solomon & His Jive Boys - Constantly 2:50
B5 Maurice Arnold & His Jive Boys - Doggin' Around 2:50
B6 Batuk Nandy - Instrumental Film Music (Electric Guitar – Batuk Nandy) 2:44
B7 A. Rahman & Columbia Orchestra - Oh, Juita Ku 3:01
B8 Bismillah Khan & Party - Shenai Instrumental 3:07

Notes
A1. Zulu guitar jive
A2. vocal group + guitar, Zulu jive
A3. vocal group + guitar, Zulu jive
A4. vocal with guitar and accordion, sung in Chichewa, South-Central Africa
A5. female vocal trio + piano, Zulu jive
A6. female vocal trio + piano, Zulu jive
A7. blues vocal + piano, clarinet, Johannesburg, 1953
A8. Recorded in Kimongo, Republic of Congo c. 1940s
A9. Zulu vocal with drums and sticks c. 1950

B1. Calcutta, c. 1940
B2. Calcutta, 1942
B3. Calcutta, 1942
B4. Calcutta, 1943
B5. Calcutta, 1945
B6. Calcutta, 1960s
B7. Dengan, Malaya, 1949
B8. India, c. 1949

German Democratic Republic

old freshness for modern listening...................

just think for a moment of what you heve in your hands when you buy this album...try to listen to it for a while acritically,then take a look at the year when this magic took place!track number two is to be described honestly as one of the greatest examples of nu rhythm and groove in jazz ever....words cannot explain the beauty of such a musicalexperience-go get it. -T. Carlo

Slightly off-kilter, and pleasantly so, Formation 60 was compiled by Jazzanova, representing a unique blend of Latin influenced bossa induced bop, jazz waltzes and other swinging numbers from the former German Democratic Republic … of all places. I know this sounds unbelievable, but European jazz was and is far more reaching in scope and depth than most people, even jazz aficionados, have ever dared to dream. The work found here is ambitious, possessing a lyrical language that is rewarding, seeming almost designed to exist in the moment, as if these artists had an inkling that their sound was being presented for those in attendance, while perhaps dreaming that the curtains would one day be pulled back to shed a bit of light onto what was happening in parts of the world that for many years were shrouded in mystery.

I’ve seen this collection, featuring a variety of talented artists, described as "clever," which brings a smile to my face, as such a simplistic description of something so entirely fresh and unheard before, could ever be so matter of factly labeled, when the truth of the matter is that each number presents a different theme, a different atmosphere, a different connection and relation to what we have all come to expect from the genre of jazz.

The production is warm and expansive, with an almost a monaural effect, meaning that it is full-bodied, rich and centered … without the need for stereophonic effects which would contribute little to talent of these musicians, or the notes they string together, creating an experience you won’t quiet see until the music is over, and you come face to face with one of those rare ah-ha moments. -Review by Jenell Kesler

What you now hold in your hands is a collection of jazz music from the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), compiled by Jazzanova. This mixture is an attractive blend of Latin-influenced swingers, tricky waltzes, bossa flavoured bop and big band monsters. Recorded in the 60s, these locked away treasures document the pure and individual sound of the little-known East German jazz scene. All the tunes were originally released by the state-owned Amiga label, the only record company available to East German jazz musicians. The unique and refreshing vibes of these rare recordings from behind the Iron Curtain are always in our DJ boxes, as they merge smoothly into the club sound of the 90s jazz movement.

The opener is Zwielicht by the Manfred-Ludwig-Sextet, with its straight to the hip bossa rhythms and lifting horn sections. The sextet was founded by the saxophonists Ernst-Ludwig Petrowski, who became widely known across the East and West border, and Manfred "the Catcher" Schulze who acquired his nickname for his habit of using his fists during discussions about music. Zwielicht and also the beautiful waltz Gral were recorded in 1964 during a tour by US singer Dorothy Allison through the GDR.

Another warm and pulsating waltz by the Manfred-Ludwig-Sextet is Scandinavia, dated 1963. We think the group must have made their trip to the North during the Spring. With its creamy floating solos by Heinz Becker (tp), Ernst-Ludwig Petrowski (as) and Siegfried Groß (p), this song has become one of our favourites.

On Chano's Track by Tony Fichelscher is a dedication to the legendary Chano Pozo, Dizzy Gillespie's percussion player. This is real drum & voice - big bongo business. The drummer and singer Fichelscher was a central figure in the flourishing Berlin jazz scene until 1961, when the Berlin Wall cut the musicians off from each other, preventing him from ever again recording in Eastern Germany.

From "Modern Jazz Studio 3", released in 1969, we took Episode, an electrifying theme by Volkmar Schmidt and Rien, a further exploration in jazz waltzes by Michael Fritzen. A planned contribution on that record by the piano wizard Joachim Kühn was replaced with the recordings of Fritzen, after Joachim and his brother Rolf defected from the GDR shortly before record release. The state-controlled Amiga would not release any more of the dissident's work.

We move on to the Werner Pfüller Quintet, which was influential in the jazz environment of the GDR during the 50s. It is represented here with a catchy version of Basie's tune Good Bait. Recorded in 1961, this standard is the only non-original composition in this compilation.

Klaus Lenz, the "Spiritus Rektor" of the East German jazz scene, echoes the big band sound of Clarke/Boland. Lenz, a trumpet player and arranger, formed the "Modern Jazz Big Band", which later became the "Modern Soul Big Band". These big bands were formed for a few weeks every year and were not only a set-up of all-star bands, but gave a foundation to new talents, many of whom became bandleaders, such as Günther Fischer or Ulrich Gumpert. We found that the lovely Zottos and bossa-based Kleines Lied für Eric give a worthy impression of the work of Lenz. Kleines Lied für Eric, recorded live in East Berlin, was dedicated to Eric Dolphy, who died half a year earlier in West Berlin.

Another sensation for us while digging in the crates, was the discovery of an EP by the Theo Schumann Combo, which included this finger-snapping high-speed tune Karawane. If you are a treasure hunter, you will remember that special sensation when you salvage a record rarely seen or heard before. This precious gem - from which we also took our cover- is simply called "Jazz" and presents Theo Schumann in his first period of works. He became better-known for his beat-influenced releases during the late 60s and also for his work as a bandleader.

Moving outside the collector circles, European jazz has become much more sought-after in recent years, as rumours of its quality spread. In our opinion, this compilation includes some of the finest examples of European jazz. Although created aside from the Western European jazz metropolis and without personal assistance by international stars, the ambitious circle of East German and East European musicians have founded an individual, deep and lyrical language in jazz. Sit back and listen, we will carry on digging for the nuggets...

1. Manfred-Ludwig Sextett  - Zwielicht (Recorded 1964) 2:50
2. Toby Fichelscher & Günter Wilk  - On Chano's Track  (Recorded 1957) 3:14
3. Manfred-Ludwig Sextett - Skandinavia (Recorded 1963) 2:48
4. Michael Fritzen Quartett - Rien (Recorded 1967) 3:07
5. Orchester Klaus Lenz  - Zottos (Recorded 1969) 3:22
6. Volkmar Schmidt Combo - Episode (Recorded 1965) 5:06
7. Manfred-Ludwig Sextett - Gral (Recorded 1964) 2:29
8. Theo Schumann Combo - Karawane (Recorded 1964) 2:37
9. Werner Pfüller Quintett - Good Bait (Recorded 1962) 2:44
10. Modern Jazz Big Band 65 - Kleines Lied Für Eric (Recorded 1965) 4:28

Nassau, Bahamas

This set collects both Beginning Of The End albums on one release – ‘Funky Nassau’ from 1971 and ‘Beginning Of The End’ from 1976 – with the CD issue including extra singles. Classic tracks from this Bahamian powerhouse will be familiar to funk fans – ‘Funky Nassau’ was their biggest moment but Island fuelled dancefloor gems like ‘Come Down Baby’, the crashing ‘Monkey Tamarind’ and ‘Jump In The Water’ also follow the band’s blueprint to project that trademark sound. ‘Fishman’ is a great, soulful, mid tempo with a blend of influences, ‘That’s What I Get’ again sees the group in that big, crescendo mood while the Latin influenced ‘Pretty Girl’ is also a highlight.

A great collection – the rare two albums by Beginning Of The End, plus bonus tracks too. First up is the classic Funky Nassau – s monster bit of funk that's unlike anything else we can think of. Beginning Of The End hailed from The Bahamas, but don't hold that against them – because instead of being a Caribbean cliche, they took the best part of the island rhythms, and used them to forge an incredible approach to funk. They've got a choppy sound that's the result of some incredibly dexterous guitar, bass, and drums – and which you'll recognize instantly from their one-time hit "Funky Nassau", a killer funk track that never gets old, no matter how many bands cover it over the years. That gem kicks off the album, which then rolls into the monster funky "part 2", which is even better. Other titles are equally wonderful – and include "Come Down", "Surrey Ride", "Monkey Tamarind", and "In The Deep". Essential – and one that you'll be spinning for years. Next is the self-titled Beginning Of The End set – one of the rarest funky records of all time – the hard-to-find second album by Beginning Of The End. This West Indian combo hit it big with their first album on Alston, but this second set, for some strange reason, never really got distributed – which is a damn shame, because it's every bit as funky as their first. The uniquely choppy rhythms of the group's first album are every bit as great here as on the first set – and if anything, the band's instrumentation is even better, especially on the guitar, which is wickedly tight, and played with a super-dope flanged-out approach on the solos. Vocals are great too, maybe even more soulful than before, especially on the album's few midtempo cuts – and the album's a must-have for any fan of the group's funky sound. -dustygroove

Strut presents the definitive reissues of two all-time classic Caribbean soul and funk albums, The Beginning Of The End’s ‘Funky Nassau’ (1971) and ‘Beginning Of The End’ (1976). 

Emerging from Nassau in the Bahamas in 1971, the band was formed around the Munnings brothers (Ray, Leroy and Frank) and the first song they recorded, ‘Funky Nassau’, became a No. 1 Billboard R’n’B hit, selling over a million copies. “We wanted to create something new,” remembers Ray Munnings, “something that was truly Bahamian. We loved funk but wanted to include elements of junkanoo, the indigenous music of The Bahamas.” An album was written within a week and recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami. “We brought in more Bahamian themes, like ‘Monkey Tamarind’, a wild fruit that grows there.” 

By the time of their second album in 1976, the band was managed by Don Taylor, also Bob Marley ’s manager. “Don took us to Byron Lee’s studio in Jamaica and used Teddy Randazzo (Little Anthony & The Imperials) to direct the sessions,” recalls Munnings. “He gave us more of an uptempo jazz funk sound with Chicago-style horns.” The album led to a run of incredible bad luck. Booked to support Marvin Gaye’s ’What’s Goin’ On’ tour, the US Musicians Union stepped in and ordered a US group to fill the slot. They were then added onto a major Bob Marley tour in 1976 before he injured his foot, cancelling all dates.

These definitive official reissues of ‘Funky Nassau’ and ‘Beginning Of The End’ are remastered by The Carvery from original tapes and feature full length tracks from the studio sessions. Both albums feature a history of the albums and the band by vocalist Ray Munnings, alongside rare photos. 

The CD edition features both albums + all extra singles recorded by the band.

Funky Nassau (1971)
1-1 Funky Nassau (Part 1) 3:07
1-2 Funky Nassau (Part 2) 2:31
1-3 Come Down 3:13
1-4 Sleep On Dream On 4:01
1-5 Surrey Ride 4:35
1-6 Monkey Tamarind 3:32
1-7 In The Deep 4:50
1-8 Pretty Girl 5:01
1-9 When She Made Me Promise 4:14
Singles (1971-1972)
1-10 Fishman 3:01
1-11 Gee Whiz, It's Christmas 2:31
Beginning Of The End (1976)
2-1 Superwoman 5:07
2-2 Trip To Nowhere 5:32
2-3 Jamaica 6:20
2-4 I've Got The News 5:10
2-5 Falling Apart At The Seams 4:01
2-6 That's What I Get 6:57
2-7 Bluestrain 3:55
2-8 Jump In The Water 4:24
2-9 Bahamian Boogie 3:20

Jamaica

Record in “mint” condition. Include club classic "Give Me Little More"! 

Description: Carlton & The Shoes "This Heart Of Mine" 1982 - Quality - QRL 001 Original US pressing. DONT MISS THIS!! Here we have a must have for any serious collector. 9 tracks of essential reggae. A fantastic album that was also produced by Carlton Manning (from the Abyssinians) Manning is featured Bass, Lead/backing Vocals, and Rhythm. Carlton Barrett on drums; Dean Fraser, Headley Bennett, Nambo on Horns; Lead Guitar by Earl China Smith, Sewell. Keyboards - Pablo Black, Richard Ace. Mixed by Manning and Sylvan Morris. . Includes "This Heart of Mine" "Better Days" and more. You will not find this in such fantastic condition often. Miss this one at your peril. Good Luck! 

This release is out of time and place. Roots reggae dominated the scene in '70s Jamaica and it would have been understandable if the gentle soul-folk of this record had simply vanished in the haze. Lucky for listeners, it didn't. The topics are familiar to students of the isle and its art -- stop the violence, love, when will we be free -- but the delivery is softer, demanding that one stop and listen carefully. Do, and you'll be glad you did. -AllMusic Review by Rob Ferrier

About Carlton and the Shoes
Led by falsetto singer Carlton Manning, the brother of the Abyssinians founding member Donald Manning, Carlton & His Shoes took a harmonious, soft rock approach to reggae. Although their debut single, recorded for Sonia Pottinger, flopped, the trio achieved success after switching to producer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's Supreme label in 1968. Their first single for Dodd, "Love Me Forever" and "Happy Land," was an early reggae hit with "Happy Land" subsequently inspiring the Abyssinians' 1971 hit "Satta Massa Gana." Manning and his brothers, Donald and Lynford, who joined him in Carlton & His Shoes, worked together on several musical projects. In the early '70s, they recorded for producer Lee Perry as the Carltons. When the Abyssinians founding member Bernard Collins left the group in 1976, Manning took his place. Although this lineup transformed the the Abyssinians' set into one of the high points of the 1979 Reggae Sunsplash, they disbanded shortly afterwards. When Donald and Lynford formed The Abyssinians, Carlton remained at Studio One, continuing to make records, and working as a session guitarist. He continued to record through the 1970s and early 1980s, though never repeated his early success. -Craig Harris

A1 This Heart of Mine 4:55
A2 Give Me a Little More 3:43
A3 Don't Change 4:12
A4 Better Days 4:05
B1 I'm in Chains 4:06
B2 Arise Abraham 3:45
B3 Sincerely Yours 3:32
B4 Send Us Moses 3:15
B5 Never Give Your Heart Away 4:36

Brazil

Unreleased 70s material from the great Joao Donato – taken from a time when he gave us the classic albums Quem E Quem and Lugar Comum – but hardly did anything else at all. During this time, Donato was really shifting from his bossa roots – still with a sense of modernism in his phrasing, but also with a funkier groove as well – and as much electric piano as the acoustic version of the instrument that first gave him his fame. He also became quite a singer, too – with this raspy voice that's instantly charming, and which makes a further wonderful element in the music. A few of the cuts are alternates of tunes you might know elsewhere, Nara Leao guests on one number – and titles include "Gol Da Coreia", "No Largo Do Boticario", "Fim De Sonho", "Na Raia", "Nao Tem Nada Nao", "Gol Da Alemania", and the funky classic "Bananeira". -dustygroove

About João Donato

João Donato started his recording career at 15, already a challenging task in an association with a great master, Altamiro Carrilho. He also recorded with Bud Schank, Ron Carter, Airto Moreira, Elmir Deodato, Randy Brecker, Ray Barretto, Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente, Astrud Gilberto, Cal Tjader, and several others, along with many important Brazilian musicians, including Johnny Alf and Tom Jobim. His solo career is registered with 29 albums recorded since 1953. A major figure as a musician and arranger in the bossa nova movement, he is profoundly influential, having inspired generations of players. João Gilberto confessed to have taken his bossa nova beat at the violão from Donato's piano playing. He is generally perceived as a crazy and detached genius; maybe he is a little of each.

He started making music very early and soon he was already animating dance parties with his accordion. His first music notions were given by a sergeant of Acre's Military Band. At 11, he moved to Rio and studied piano with professor Werther. At 15, he was already a professional accordion musician, playing at suburban balls. His first recording dates back from that period, a 78 rpm for the Star label with Altamiro Carrilho e Seu Regional, although the label omits Donato's credits. He also performed, at that time, continuing for nine years, at the jam sessions of the seminal amateur jazz circle Sinatra-Farney Fan Club in Rio, which gathered people who would be important jazz musicians, producers, and journalists in Brazil. At 17, he was hired by Rádio Guanabara as a sideman on the Zé do Norte show, working there for two years. In 1952, he was hired by the great violinist Fafá Lemos to play in his group, which was performing at the Monte Carlo nightclub. He also played at several other nightclubs which brought together Rio's good musicians, at places such as Sacha's, Drink's, Bon Gourmet, and, most importantly, Plaza, where bossa nova was born. His first solo album, a 78 rpm for Sinter, was entitled João Donato e seu Conjunto, and was released in April 1953, containing "Tenderly" and "Invitation." In May of that year, he recorded, under the same title, another 78 rpm for the same label. In July, he recorded with the vocal and instrumental group Os Namorados for a 78 rpm with the songs "Eu Quero Um Samba" (Haroldo Barbosa/Janet de Almeida), later recorded solo by João Gilberto, and "Três Ave-Marias" (Hanibal Cruz). He also recorded two other albums with Os Namorados, always for Sinter, in October 1953 and January 1954. The group Os Namorados was the same as Os Namorados da Lua, without Lúcio Alves. When Alves departed for a solo career, he prohibited his old bandmates from using the old name, as he wanted to reserve it for future projects. Donato also worked for the Garotos da Lua vocal group. They were hired by Rádio Tupi. Donato was the group's pianist and arranger and João Gilberto joined them in 1949, subbing for crooner Jonas Silva. Their strong friendship began before they even met: before leaving Bahia, someone said to João Gilberto that he was going to meet a guy "exactly like him." At the same time, Donato was told that the forthcoming crooner was very much alike him. When they met, they only said to each other "That's true!," leaving bystanders to wonder what was going on. Numerous eccentric anecdotes of both idiosyncratic musicians date from that period. Later, they would move to Luiz Teles' (from the Quitandinha Serenaders group) apartment, and live there for a while. Gilberto recorded two albums with the Garotos da Lua in July and November 1951. Soon after, Gilberto was fired from the group by Rádio Tupi's artistic direction as "too bad a crooner." In 1954, Donato recorded another 78 rpm for Sinter. In 1956, in spite of hating the cold weather of the city of São Paulo, Donato moved there, joining the group Os Copacabanas and the Luís César Orchestra, alongside his own group. He recorded another solo album, now with this group, for Odeon in March 1956. In the same year and on the same label, he recorded Chá Dançante, produced by Tom Jobim. In 1958, he composed his first hit, "Minha Saudade," with Gilberto. At that time, Donato was playing at the Copacabana Palace with the orchestra of Copinha (fined every two days for being late everyday), and Gilberto used to go there often to chat with Donato during the orchestra's breaks (when Dick Farney's group performed). Donato said in an interview in the '70s that Gilberto confessed to him that he, Donato, was the inspirer of Gilberto's bossa nova beat at the violão. Maestro Gaya also said that. Also in 1958, he recorded on his LP Dance Conosco (Copacabana) two partnerships with Gilberto: the mambo "Mambinho" and the samba "Minha Saudade."

In 1959, he was being rejected by all nightclubs. Ahead of its time, his modern swinging piano was too strong rhythmically and excessively difficult to follow by other musicians, and customers complained about it as not danceable. He ran out of gigs and used to ask all nightclubs' owners to play for free, just to be available for anyone interested. Even then, he was only allowed to play after 4:00 a.m., when most customers were gone. His situation was so bad, he decided to move away from Brazil. His friend Nanai, having toured Mexico with the great singer Elizete Cardoso, settled in the U.S. and telegraphed Donato, inviting him to a two-week season there. Donato went and ended up residing in the U.S. for 14 years. Very requested by Latin artists, he recorded Arriba! for Mongo Santamaria (Fantasy 1961), Vaya Puente for Tito Puente (Philips 1962), At the Black Hawk for Santamaria (Fantasy 1962), The Astrud Gilberto Album for Astrud Gilberto (Elenco 1964, released in the U.S. through Verve, Silver Collection 1991), Shadow of Your Smile for Astrud Gilberto (Verve 1965), Brazil! Brazil! Brazil! for Bud Shank (World Pacific 1967), Solar Heat for Cal Tjader (Skye 1968), and Prophet for Cal Tjader (Verve 1969). Given the long years they worked together in Rio, and also that they were longtime friends, Donato and Brazilian drummer Milton Banana developed a rare symbiosis, each one rhythmically complementing the other's ideas. Banana was the first musician to develop a proper bossa nova drum beat, with brushes over a cloth and stick at the snare's rim. His sound was so distinctive that it was copied by many musicians and most bossa nova recordings bring that drum sound. After the historic concert at Carnegie Hall, in which Donato didn't participate, Donato and Milton Banana accompanied Gilberto on a tour through Italy, where they worked for six weeks. In spite of being harassed by more people interested in contracting him than he could handle, Gilberto alleged a pain in his finger which impeded him of playing, and they stopped everything to wait for his recovery. Believing that only one person in the world could cure him, Gilberto went to Paris, France, to meet Dr. Zapalla, who had been Brazilian soccer player Pelé's acupuncturist. After four weeks waiting in vain and not receiving any money, Donato and Milton departed from Europe. Donato came back to Brazil. In 1962, Polydor recorded the LP Muito à Vontade, with his compositions. This LP was reissued later by Polyfar and in CD format by Pacific Jazz Japan. At the same time, he recorded through Polydor A Bossa Muito Moderna de Donato e seu Trio and it was released the next year. He just finished the two albums and returned to the U.S. In 1965, with Brazilian violonista/composer/singer Rosinha de Valença, he recorded for Bud Schank Bud Shank & His Brazilian Friends for Elenco, also reissued by Polydor and Toshiba EMI Japan. In the same year, he recorded for RCA Victor USA Piano of Joao Donato -- The New Sound of Brasil. His compositions "Amazonas" (recorded by Chris Montez), "A Rã," and "Caranguejo" (both recorded by Sérgio Mendes), all were big hits, receiving other interpretations by several artists. In 1969, he recorded for Muse (which released it in 1973) Donato/Deodato, a classic album where Latin jazz meets bossa nova. It was followed by A Bad Donato (Blue Thumb 1970) with Ron Carter. Returning to Brazil in 1972, the next year he recorded for Odeon Quem é Quem. In 1974, he directed Gal Costa's show Cantar, recorded live and released with Costa singing a couple of Donato's songs, one with Caetano Veloso. In 1975, Donato recorded Lugar Comum for Philips and in 1986, his live show at the People's nightclub was released by Elektra Musician as Leilíadas. In 1996, he recorded for Odeon Coisas tão Simples and in 1997, Café com Pão -- João Donato & Eloir de Morais with the Brazilian drummer. He also composed, together with Gilberto Gil, "Lugar Comum" (1974), "Bananeira," "Emoriô," and "Tudo Tem" (all in 1975). -Alvaro Neder

1. Palhaçada 3:12
2. Gol Da Coreia 3:24
3. Não Tem Nada Não 3:44
4. Bananeira 4:38
5. Gol Da Alemanha 5:20
6. No Largo Do Boticário 2:22
7. Fim de Sonho 3:15
8. Na Raia 3:10

Jamaica

Excellent CD that compiles all the singles from Junior ‘Left Hand Bassie’ Dan aka Sydney Gussine, the man who played bass on classic recordings for Augustus Pablo and Burning Spear and featured on the Black Slavery Days sessions and now handles the four srings for Damon Albarn’s Gorillas project. The music contained here can only be described as mystical roots reggae and until its recent re-issue on vinyl was strictly the coveted reserve of a few hardcore roots fans, this is the first time any of it has been made available on CD, so don’t miss it this time. Tracks include Look Out For The Devil, Red Gold & Green Rainbow, East Of The Rio Cobre, Wise Man, Mr Big Shot, Give Thanks No Skanks and This Foundation plus their respective dubs. -dubvendor

1. Look Out For The Devil 2:27
2. Look Out For The Devil (Version) 2:34
3. Red, Gold & Green Rainbow 3:12
4. Red, Gold & Green Rainbow (Version) 3:37
5. East Of The Rio Cobre 2:43
6. Wise Man 2:42
7. Cobre Version 2:40
8. Mr. Big Shot 2:39
9. Mr. Big Shot (Version) 2:41
10. Give Thanks No Skanks 3:41
11. Yanks And Ises 3:18
12. This Foundation 2:55
13. Jah Foundation 5:27

Notes
According to liner notes:
Track 1 was recorded at the Black Ark, voiced and mixed at Tubby's.
Tracks 5 and 6 were recorded at Joe Gibbs and mixed at Jamaica Information Service Studio.

Originally issued circa 1979 on the esoteric New York based Clappers label, this unique and atmospheric dub album produced by Junior Dan aka Sydney Gussine aka Left Hand Bassie was recorded at Harry J and Treasure Isle studios in Jamaica then carried to New York’s Bullwackies Studio for the final mixdown. Top Yard sessioneers Max Edwards and Albert Malawi (drums), Dalton Brownie (guitar) and Steelie Johnson (organ) contributed. Unavailable for two decades until Dan pressed it up on his own Jah Light label a few years ago, there are dubs to some of Junior Dan’s classic roots tunes including Red Gold & Green and a dub to the tune he did for Augustus Pablo; His Foundation. Mystical stuff! -dubvendor

1. Bushmaster Workout 3:42
2. Midnight Ina El Salvador 3:35
3. Jerry Rollins Clappers Style 3:01
4. KTW Dub 2:38
5. Swapo Skank 3:48
6. Free Namibia 3:33
7. Guided Missiles (Leftist Dub) 3:07

UK

NOTE SUBTITLE: A small collection of rare, delightful folk oddities for strange adults and maybe their children too...
If you're okay with that - this is a most interesting collection of twee & fey folk. Once upon a time in a land far away, people were extremely happy ... if the puppets & people in King Friday's kingdom got together to create an original composition, it would undoubtedly sound like this.
This is a time in a bottle captured and probably lost forever. If you miss the happy twee, fey folk and troubador music of a land and time far away - if troubadors of ye old England landed in 1967, this is EXACTLY what it would sound like. Enjoy! (KC)

A superb collection of off-kilter psych-folk oddities from that pleasingly twilight world of the Wicker Man and BBC children's educational programming c1970. It's all on YouTube so you can easily find out whether this is your cup of Earl Grey. Me? I have been playing it regularly for the last few months and find it both addictive and satisfying. -nigeyb

'Named after the kiddy favourite 'fuzzy-felt', this bijou collection of odd-ball folk sees the Trunk people combing car-boot sales and record fairs for anything that fell within the remit "good, but blessed with childish and sweet sound that borders on the spooky". Whilst this might read like the kind of thing you'd normally go some way to avoid, 'Fuzzy-Felt Folk' is a fantastic album that shouldn't be overlooked - bringing together lost nuggets from the likes of Basil Kirchin and Arthur Birkby, as well as seminal pieces from TV shows such as 'Vision On'. A spiritual cousin to the recent John Peel 'Pig's Big 78's' collection, 'Fuzzy-Felt Folk' opens through the wonderful 'I Start Counting' from Brian Eno's stated hero Basil Kirchin - wherein a sublime female vocal (originally meant to be Cilla Black we're told...) quells the giddy percussion and delivers a gorgeous sliver of outsider pop. From here it's one unheard treat after another, with particular highlights including The Barbara Moore Singer's 'The Elf' (think the best kids-show soundtrack ever heard through a sugar induced hangover), Orriel Smith's otherworldly blush on 'Tiffany Glass' and 'Spin Spider Spin' from Peggy Zeitlin. Closing on a ridiculously odd cover of 'Teddy Bears Picnic' from the Opportunity Knocks-famed Piggleswick Folk, 'Fuzzy Felt Folk' is a guilty treat that will be lapped up by music lovers of all ages. Strange as...' -Boomkat

'The wonderful U.K.-based archival label Trunk Records, which also released the similarly bizarre yet familiar-feeling collection of '60s and '70s advertising music Music for Biscuits, gives the same loving collector's treatment to children's music of that era with Fuzzy-Felt Folk. Fuzzy-Felt is a British toy series of felt cutouts that can be used to make pictures (basically, the fabric equivalent of Colorforms). The album's artwork comes from the 1968 set Fuzzy-Felt Fantasy, and really says it all about the music inside: it's undeniably cute, even cuddly, but with a whimsy that can become spooky at a moment's notice. Like all of Trunk's compilations, Fuzzy-Felt Folk's appeal goes way beyond its (considerable) nostalgia value -- this innocently trippy music sounds fresh, perhaps because of its very strangeness. Many of the tracks here are incredibly rare, and while every song is delightful, the middle stretch of Fuzzy-Felt Folk really captures what makes its psychedelic folk for kids so special. "Cuckoo" is one of several songs on the collection by the Barbara Moore Singers, all of which were created with children's movement classes in mind. Its lilting clarinets and flutes and cheery vocal harmonies were made for skipping, swaying to and fro, or maybe a very orchestrated game of hide-and-seek. "Spin Spider Spin" by Peggy Zeitlin (one of a handful of American artists on the collection) is a simple but memorable singalong that's more purely folk, offering a slightly moodier take on the acoustic-based children's music that dominated the '60s and '70s. Two of the album's best and most obscure songs come from Orriel Smith: "Winds of Space" and "Tiffany Glass" were culled from the BBC's singles library before the broadcasting company sold off some of its oldest 7"s. "Winds of Space" -- which seems to be a lullaby for the universe -- isn't just the strangest song on the album, it's light years away from any other children's music. A poem set to music, it's remarkably free-form and forward-thinking, even by the standards of the time. Prickly, atonal guitars are sprinkled over a syncopated bassline, while far-off flutes and Smith's pure, icy soprano sparkle like starlight. Though a full-length album by Smith and her collaborator, composer/arranger Phillip Lambro, was planned, unfortunately it never came to pass. Based on this song and "Tiffany Glass," it's a pretty big loss for fans of incredibly strange (and lovely) music. Other standouts include Reg Tilsley's groovy instrumental workout "The Troll" and Basil Kirchin's "I Start Counting," a beautiful, forgotten symphonic pop/folk gem. This collection is a true labor of love: you can still hear some scratches and pops on these songs, but that's part of their charm. It's an album perfect for a crafty, rainy afternoon indoors with felt, macaroni, glue, glitter, yarn, and safety scissors, or perhaps going out into the forest and discovering Cheshire Cats and Mome Raths. Fuzzy-Felt Folk is completely different from any children's music currently being made, but that's exactly why the kids of today should hear it.' -AllMusic Review by Heather Phares

Jonny Trunk
Hello and welcome to an explanation of Fuzzy-Felt Folk. This peculiar genre of sound came in to being one afternoon a few years ago when I was listening to kooky, childish records with fellow collector Martin Green. He played me the recording he'd found of "The Elf" which I found extremely charming, and when we tried to put our finger on exactly the sort of sound it was, Martin said 'Fuzzy-Felt Folk". It's a phrase that has stayed with me ever since and perfectly explains this quite wonderful area of sound.

The music has to have a childish, sweet sound but at the same time can have an old fashioned, spooky edge. This is music you may well have heard growing up and that also sound relevant and fine right now. These are the kind of gentle sounds you could (and possibly should) play to your children today. The tracks compiled on this album are quite something - we go from rare unreleased soundtrack demos to naive experimental psychedelia and even some rare music from seminal arts and craft-based TV series "Vision On" There is music made for dancing, skipping and dreaming. And of course for prancing around old school assembly halls acting like a tree.

The front cover imagery is from the original 1968 Fuzzy-Felt Fantasy set, which we thought was a bit more appropriate than using the cover from, say, Fuzzy Felt Hospital. Here are the tracks...

1. Basil Kirchin - I Start Counting (Demo) 3:39
2. The Barbara Moore Singers - Singing Low 2:29
3. Pierre Arvay - Merry Ocarina 1:59
4. Orriel Smith - Tiffany Glass 2:55
5. Claude Vasori - Folk Guitar 2:57
6. Christopher Casson - Twinkle Twinkle 0:28
7. Arthur Birkby (Vocals – The Barbara Moore Singers) - Cuckoo Vocals 2:40
8. Peggy Zeitlin - Spin Spider Spin 3:00
9. Orriel Smith - Winds Of Space 2:35
10. The Barbara Moore Singers - The Elf 2:22
11. Reg Tilsley - The Troll 2:53
12. Christopher Casson - My Mother Said 1:09
13. The Barbara Moore Singers - Hey Robin 3:05
14. Christopher Casson - Oh Dear What Can The Matter Be 0:57
15. The Piggleswick Folk - Teddy Bears Picnic 1:34

And here is a very rough guide to some of the cues you can hear if you were to really push the boat out and get a copy of this baby. are now lucky enough to be hearing. And if you ask me you are really lucky to even have access to some of this wondrous sound. This stuff takes years to find, and then even longer to track down the owners. And when it's finally all done, mastered, lovingly packaged and finally distributed Trunk Records makes bugger all. Enough for a round of toast maybe. Or a bus ride to the seaside.

Anyway, the music all begins with "I Start Counting", an unreleased demo courtesy of the Basil Kirchin archive. Basil, a truly British experimental composer wrote this music for a peculiar late 1960s British movie. Originally he wanted Cilla Black to sing the lyrics, he loved her voice so much. However she was not available (possibly due to contractual commitments elsewhere) and Basil ended up using his drummers daughter to quickly sing it for this demo. He couldn't remember her name, or for that matter, his drummer name either. And we know nothing, except that this is almost beyond sublime.

"The Elf" is a true oddity. Found under a magic stone by Martin Green, this mysterious scatty number was sung by the legendary Barbara Moore Singers and was originally recorded for children's movement and mime classes. The same can be said for the other Arthur Birkby penned numbers - "Cuckoo", "Hey Robin" and "Singing Low". I wonder if children still have those classes after assembly, you know the ones where you wear unmarking plimsoles and run around the hall or the gym to slightly spooky music all the while acting like a fish or a seed growing into a tree. Those were the proper days I reckon. I might start an evening class doing it all again for adults.

And on we dance towards "Merry Ocarina", a number from deep within the De Wolfe music catalogue. This track appeared sympathetically often throughout the 1960s and early 1970s in the incredibly progressive BBC Children's TV for the hard of hearing "Vision On". A real melting pot of incredible British talent, the series included animation, inside and outsider art as well as regular strange performance. "Merry Ocarina" was one of a handful of tracks used extensively throughout this long running series, and was heard each episode as backing for every "Humphrey The Tortoise" sequence. This is the first time it has been made available commercially. You lucky people.

A few years ago the BBC sold off a large number of its singles collection. Nearly 20,000 7" discs were dispersed very quickly indeed through shops, charity organisations and so forth. Salvaged from this vast collection was a rare copy of "Tiffany Glass" and "Winds Of Space". These two quite unique (and unknown) pieces of soulful, experimental jazzy-folk were put together by Phillip Lambro, the prodigious American composer, writer and soundtracker. Using the words of two different poet writers, the tracks were arranged and then issued by Lambro's own short lived label "Tudor Records". Phillip Lambro went on to score for several cool movies, including Murph The Surf (being reissued on CD this year) and Orriel Smith can be found singing on Lambro's rare score for "Crypt Of The Living Dead". An Orriel Smith LP was planned at the time but sadly was never made. These are the only two recordings.

We're also lucky to be able to include the rare and hypnotic Claude Vasori number known as "Folk Guitars" here. Vasori's track was originally issued on the fine French Musique Pour L'Image label and was subsequently issued out from the UK on the just as fine Sylvester label in the late 1960s. It's a rare, simple and quite addictive number that I never tire of.

As for Spin Spider Spin, this is from an American Child's education recording. It is simple, effective and perfect to sing along too. Written and sung here by Peggy Zeitlin. We have no idea where she is now.

"The Troll", a mechanical and orchestral folk oddity was recorded in 1969 by Reg Tilsley and also hails from the fine De Wolfe library. Issued on the scarce "Quietly With Johan" ten inch LP it completed an unusual double bill of late 1960s children toy themed tracks: the other is the classic Herbert Chappell number known simply as "The Gonk". Just so you are clear about all this - A Troll is a mythical, sometimes fearsome beastie from Scandinavia folklore. You'd find them all over the place in the late 1960s and 1970s normally made of wood, rabbit fur and with big stick on eyes.

And finally we come to Piggleswick Folk. An intriguing bunch, they put together their own vocal harmony based folk LP in the early 1970s, and at the time were spending a lot of time on the road, touring with Pam Ayres. Eventually both acts were to appear on TV, Piggleswick Folk on New Faces, Pam Ayres on Opportunity Knocks. The rest is British folk history. Well sort of. Teddy Bears Picnic is from their only LP issued by the obscure Acorn Label. Two members of Piggleswick Folk are still performing today, now in the busy barn dance band "Tumbledown Dick" and can be booked for your wedding or traditional doo - www.tumbledowndick.com

Well I think that's quite enough information for one CD. Special thanks must go to Mandy Hayes from Fuzzy-Felt for believing this was a great idea in the first place. I am in total agreement with her. -Jonny Trunk

Notes
Trunk Records is a British independent record label, which specialises mainly in lost film scores, unreleased TV music, library music, old advertising jingles, art, sexploitation and kitsch releases.

It was founded in 1995 by Jonny Trunk, and has since gained a cult following as a result of the releases of highly influential material from scores for films such as The Wicker Man, Deep Throat, Kes, The Blood on Satan's Claw and George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead.

Other releases include soundtracks for 1970s UK Television series such as The Tomorrow People, UFO and Vernon Elliott's score for Clangers and Ivor the Engine. As well as film music and jazz, the label has also brought to public attention the lost or unreleased works of electronic pioneers such as Tristram Cary and John Baker, artists such as Bruce Lacey and avant-garde recordings made both by and for children, including the work inspired by radical free thinker and educational pioneer John Paynter. -Wiki

Madagascar

This collection is an impeccable and crystalline assortment of beautiful music from the deep southwestern provinces of Menabe and Tulear in Madagascar, recorded and assembled by Charles Brooks. Brooks has made many friends in these lesser-travelled regions since the 1990s.

“Outlier: Recordings from Madagascar represents a compilation of his encounters from 2011-2012. "Madagascar is an island that would bleed into obscurity if not for the rhythm of its name and the mysterious tailwind that follows it. Filled with natural wonder, it's a land where places, conversations, and names are spoken with a liquid tongue, where people and setting come together to create a unique array of music and culture. Sites can become extraordinarily charged with an unseen presence where heavy air, summoned spirits, and a transformative energy collapse natural constraints of place. The Malagasy call this mingling of forces 'maresaka' -- a permeating vibrational aura. Maresaka pulls you in and places you in the moment, to participate through a saturation of sounds, smells, and colors. When caught inside this kind of atmosphere, levity comes; you release your anchors of self-control. Beautiful unfettered music surfaces. Here, that is to say where I've been brought to listen, music lives and moves. The artists represented in this compilation play, and their music has many different roles -- both natural and supernatural. Music can be performed as much as it can be recorded, but here it's mostly played. These exceptional artists share within such practice" --Charles Brooks, 2015. (SF)

This is raw music with liquid rhythms and harmonics that resonate even in digital form.

Adventurous music consumers may have first learned of the rich music of Madagascar from the Shanachie label’s three-volume series A World Out of Time. Guitarists Henry Kaiser and David Lindley made these recordings on a 1991 trip to Madagascar, and came back with a mix of folk and pop music that at times approached a breathtaking beauty. In its latest release of far-flung music, Sublime Frequencies and field recordist-compiler Charles Brooks have gathered music recorded on Brooks’ journeys through lesser-traveled provinces of Menabe and Tulear in the southwest regions of the island country. If you loved A World Out of Time, you’ll love Outlier.

Some of the strongest cuts on the Shanachie collections were guitar-based, and Outlier opens with one of two striking guitar and vocal numbers by Manatsoa. You can hear a baby crying near the end of “Manja Lava” –it’s that kind of intense and dramatic music. Tanka and Angelene follow with the instantly celebratory “Valala,” which features a rippling guitar figure with handclap accompaniment and a lilting vocal. As with many of the album’s field recordings, audible background noise captures a scene that must have been as joyful to see as it is to hear. The moodier “Bilo,” by Tafara Justin, showcases a bowed string instrument that buzzes with the sawing strings and the voices and heavy breathing of agitated elders. A baby can also be heard as Justin Velonjoha’s “Mila Hey” begins. Two elder  vocalists sing separate conversational lines that overlap and play off each other, passionate, fluid melodies seeming to spur conversation from people listening nearby.

A cock crows during the spoken intro to Masy Germaine and Mony’s “Lasa Masy.” It’s a wake-up call that doesn’t quite prepare you for the beautiful aural apparition of what sounds like a folk harp, its circular stringed rhythm lightly supporting sweet vocals that float over almost otherworldly music. Mahavita, Leonel and Lisa’s “Namako” opens with an excerpt of birdsong and crickets before segueing to a young female vocalist that sings along to an accordion-like instrument.

This acoustic music seems to take off for higher planes, and that’s by design. Brooks writes that the open areas where these songs are performed “can become extraordinarily charged with an unseen presence where heavy air, summoned spirits and a transformative energy collapse natural constraints of place. The Malagasy call this mingling of forces ‘maresaka’ — a permeating vibrational aura.” While the traditions and music here may be completely unfamiliar, it won’t be hard for listeners to hear that spirit.

As if letting in part of the modern world, you can hear a vehicle passing through before Tafara Justin begins “Labanoa,” a brooding fiddle and vocal duo. The guitar work here by Manatsoa, who returns with the instrumental “Tse Szorina,” recalls somewhat rawer version of Dama and D’Gary’s gorgeous guitar work on World out of Time. The guitarists on Outlier are so good you long to hear more from them (you can hear more Manatsoa on the Mississippi Records comp Fanafody: A Collection of Recordings and Photography from Madagasikara, Volume II). Vincent, Alvine and Tsingezo contribute another gorgeous guitar-and-vocal track with “Ndramivery,” whose initial melody turns into hypnotic, repetitive chorus.

This is raw music with liquid rhythms and harmonics that resonate even in digital form, so it’s no wonder that the music is transcendent in person. As is the nature of field recordings, the recording quality is not pristine, but it’s not so raw it detracts from the music. The album ends with a fading, looping guitar figure that you would be happy to hear go on forever. Outlier connotes outsiders, and perhaps these musicians are thousands of miles from the cultural mainstream. But they communicate a basic human beauty that is instantly accessible. -Pat Padua

A1 Manatsoa - Manja Lava 2:50
A2 Tanka, Angeline - Valala 3:05
A3 Tafara Justin - Bilo 4:17
A4 Justin Velonjoha - Mila Hey 3:08
A5 Masy Germaine, Mony - Lasa Masy 3:15
A6 Mahavita, Leonel, Lisa - Namako 2:52
B1 Tafara Justin - Labanoa 4:39
B2 Manatsoa - Tse Zorina 4:05
B3 Jean-Francois, Marinette - Valala 2:30
B4 Vincent, Alvine, Tsingezo - Ndramivery 3:30
B5 Taomanana - Zanako 2:10
B6 Tanka, Angeline - Djaloko 4:18

Nigeria

“Official Mr Bongo reissue of the ultra-rare album by ‘Super Elcados’. A fusion of heavyweight Nigerian funk, soul & disco, originally released by EMI Nigeria in 1976.

The ‘Super Elcados’ (and ’Elcados’ on other recordings) recorded three albums in the mid and late-70’s, this is their first. It was followed by ‘This World Is Full Of Injustice’ and ‘What Ever You Need’.”

There may be lots of tambourine at this party, but there's plenty more as well – including some monstrous basslines that instantly make the record a treasure for fans of any funk styles from the 70s. In fact, despite the Nigerian origin of the set, it's probably just as reasonable for you to think of the album as a straight batch of 70s funk in general – especially the rare sort that's always a little offbeat and left of center – with the kinds of unusual rhythms and timings that you'd never find in a major label session of the time. The bass, as we say, seems to direct the whole proceedings – but there's also some wonderful work on saxes that peppers the cuts in all the right ways – and warmer currents of organ occasionally bring a deep soul approach to the music, even though the lyrical style is more clearly Nigerian. -dustygroove

During the early sixties, a  musical revolution took place in Ghana, when musicians started combining elements of West African musical genres including highlife and fuji music which they fused with American funk and jazz. Playing an important part important part in this new genre which later, became known as Afrobeat, were chanted vocals, percussion and complicated converging rhythms. The result was an irresistible, potent and heady musical brew that later, would spread across West Africa.

By the early seventies, Fela Kuti and his band had just returned to Nigeria after a brief stay in America, where they had hurriedly recorded what later became The ’69 Los Angeles Sessions. The album had been recorded quickly, as a promoter had informed the Immigration and Naturalization Service that Fela Kuti and his band had no work permit. Fela Kuti was tipped off that the Immigration and Naturalization Service was about to swoop, and decided to head home to Nigeria.

When Fela Kuti and his band arrived back in Lagos, Nigeria, he decided to rename his group The Afrika ’70. Fela Kuti’s next move was to found the Kalakuta Republic, which was a commune which soon, became home to the many people connected to The Afrika ’70. It also meant that Fela Kuti and The Afrika ’70 were always ready to practise and record music.

Within the Kalakuta Republic was a recording studio where Fela Kuti and The Afrika ’70 could work. By then, Fela Kuti was writing song were the lyrical themes ranged from love right through to the various social issues affecting Nigeria. Despite his concern for his fellow Nigerians, Fela Kuti, who was the leader of Kalakuta Republic, declared independent from the Nigerian State. That was still to come.

Having established the Kalakuta Republic, Fela Kuti and The Afrika ’70 began experimenting musically. They regularly  incorporated disparate musical genres into their This new sound was innovative, and also proved to be influential, when Fela Kuti established a new club that he called Afrika Shine.

That was where Fela Kuti and The Afrika ’70 first introduced Afrobeat to Nigeria in 1970. Between 1970 and 1975, Fela Kuti and The Afrika ’70 had a residency at Afrika Shine, in Lagos, and people from all over Nigeria flocked to the club. This included many Nigerian musicians who were inspired by Fela Kuti and The Afrika ’70.

During Fela Kuti and The Afrika ’70 five year residency at Afrika Shine, Afrobeat grew in popularity as bands were formed all across Nigeria. This included Super Elcados, who a year after Fela Kuti and The Afrika ’70 residency at Afrika Shine ended, released their debut album Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2 on EMI Nigeria.

Now some forty-two years later, original copies of Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2  of this uber funky Afrobeat album are almost impossible to find. When  a copy comes up for sale, the price is beyond most record collectors. Thankfully, Mr Bongo have reissued Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2 for the first time.

Just like many groups that were formed during the first half of the seventies, Super Elcados had been inspired by Fela Kuti and The Afrika ’70 and the first wave of Nigerian Afrobeat pioneers. However, Super Elcados weren’t content to blindly follow other bands, and were determined to take Afrobeat in a new direction.

This Super Elcados did as they started to play live, and hone their unique and inimitable sound. While the basis for their music was Afrobeat, it also funky, percussion, feel-good music. Super Elcados were soon  a popular live band capable of making music that would get any party started.

With Super Elcados proving popular wherever they played live, it wasn’t long before their irresistible, potent and heady musical brew caught the attention of record companies. This included EMI Nigeria, who managed to secure the signature of Super Elcados.

Having secured the signature of Super Elcados, executives at EMI Nigeria were keen that the band began work on their debut album. This became Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2. 

The eight tracks that Super Elcados decided to include on Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2 were a mixture of songs full of social comment, feel-good music, paeans and the poignant Tribute To Murtala Mohammed. These eight tracks were recorded by the nine members of Super Elcados.

When Super Elcados began recording the album, their rhythm section featured drummer and percussionist Baba Mustapha, bassist Tony Nosika and guitarist and organist Geoffrey Johnson. They were joined by lead guitarist Frank Martins, Dave Crown Olugbade who played electric piano and tenor saxophone and percussionist conga player Joe Edem Bassey Edet. Super Elcados’ horns came courtesy of trumpeter Bola Adex and valve trombonist Effiong Jarrett. Meanwhile, lead vocalist Christe Black was accompanied by the other members of Super Elcados. Gradually, Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2 started to take shape, and was ready for release in 1976.

When Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2  was released, the album sold steadily, but wasn’t the huge success that EMI Nigeria. Record buyers had missed out on what was a funky and sometimes soulful album of Afrobeat. For the members of Super Elcados this was a disappointment.

Especially given the quality of music that features on Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2. The album opener Tambourine Party finds Super Elcados at their funkiest and melodic, as the track takes on a party atmosphere. Afro Funk finds Super Elcados  locking into a groove during this glorious and memorable fusion of Afrobeat and funk, that sometimes, becomes jazz-tinged and rocky. Straight away, Xray Gun sound as if it’s been inspired by James Brown as a funky, soulful dancefloor filler takes shape. Super Elcados drop the tempo on the beautiful, soulful paean How Much I Love You. Horns and harmonies accompany a heartachingly beautiful vocal.

It’s all change on Ejole, which starts hesitantly before a funky, and later soulful, joyous and rocky slice of Afrobeat starts to take shape. Tribute to Murtala Mohammed is a poignant and soulful track that sounds as if it has been inspired in part by Gil Scott-Heron. Super Elcados change things around on Get up and Do It Good where their rhythm and horn section playing leading roles on a funky, soulful song that is one of the album’s highlights. The tempo drops on Price Of Fame, a thoughtful but funky Afrobeat instrumental  that closes Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2.

When Super Elcados released Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2 in 1976, their carefully crafted and accomplished  genre-melting album failed to find the wider audience it so richly deserved. That was a great shame as it was an album without a weak track.

Super Elcados took Afrobeat and funk as their starting point, and combined elements of jazz, rock and soul on Super Elcados released Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2. In doing so, they created eight tracks that veered between feel-good that was joyous, uplifting and irresistible to beautiful, poignant and soulful. The members of Super Elcados had combined the best of American and American music, and in doing so, created an album that was funky, soulful, melodic, memorable and guaranteed to get any party started. If only record buyers had given the album a chance.

Three years later, and Super Elcados returned in 1979 with This World Is Full Of Injustice on EMI. It was another quality album, but proved to be Super Elcados swan-song.

Later in 1979, Elcados released their debut album What Ever You Need. Sadly, that was the Elcados only released.

Thirty-nine years later, and the album that started it all off for Super Elcados Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2 has just been rereleased by Mr Bongo. By then, Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2 had a cult following among some DJs, record collectors and connoisseurs of Afrobeat. Especially, anyone who likes their Afrobeat funky, soulful, melodic and memorable. If they do, then Super Elcados’ album Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2 won’t disappoint and is guaranteed to get any party started. -dereksmusicblog

1. Tambourine Party 4:37
2. Afro Funk 4:18
3. Xray Gun 7:32
4. How Much I Love You 3:08
5. Ejole 4:33
6. Tribute To Murtala Mohammed 5:10
7. Get Up And Do It Good 4:07
8. Price Of Fame 2:26

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