London

The latest volumes in this highly acclaimed series presenting the music of the Windrush generation: the post-war, London recordings of West Indians and West Africans, in the first wave of modern migration to Britain. Volume 8: Lord Kitchener In England, 1948-1962 is devoted to the great calypsonian Lord Kitchener.

'The genius of Lord Kitchener has been the mainstay of our series. In this volume devoted to his post-war London recordings, Kitch plays his many roles with signature aplomb and poised subtlety. First there is the hooligan chantwell, up for anything in the hurly-burly of carnival proper; and then the casual reporter, firing off postcards to Trinidad about taxis, flashy booze, fast women and football in Manchester, with homesickness and grievance nestled just behind the optimism, pride and tentative senses of belonging. There is the bearer of news from home, in detailed accounts of murders, tales of stupid local coppers, and reminiscences about food and particular mango trees; the political thinker, considering racism and Africa; and the diarist, with his vivid tales of infidelity, and disclosure of the break-up of his marriage, and his desire to get away. One foot in the UK, the other in Trinidad; but the man himself somewhere in-between. Kitch In The Jungle, nobody around. A ‘diasporic explorer’; a key twentieth-century witness, alongside such hallowed figures as Samuel Selvon and Edward Kamau Braithwaite. Though in frustration Kitch would sometimes take over double-bass duties himself, the musicianship of Rupert Nurse, Fitzroy Coleman and co is top-notch. The original glorious sound is down to Denys Preston, recording for Melodisc, often at Abbey Road Studios (where we transferred and restored the 78s compiled here). Presented in a lovely gatefold sleeve, with a full-size booklet containing superb, specially-commissioned sleevenotes by Kitch biographer Anthony Joseph, and fabulous, previously-unseen photographs.'

The Grand Master. Known in the calypso world as, Lord Kitchener.

By Aldwyn Roberts

Kitchener, described as the Grandmaster of Calypso and the Road March King, has sung calypsoes in all categories of the artform. This includes political, social as well as humorous.

He started singing calypso as a boy and got his first break in 1937 in a calypso tent in Arima, singing for 12 cents. He is His tent is called the Revue, where he continued to perform every year. Long after forsaking stage competition, Kitchener continued to give the young turks trouble with such compositions as "Don't Ask Me to Wuk for Carnival", "Twelve Bar Joan" and "Bees Melody".

In 1994, a seven-foot-tall Pat Chiu Foon sculpture of Kitchener was unveiled in St James. He described the adulation he enjoyed that year as "better than the Trinity Cross"­p;which he has never received.

Before the release of his 1997 album, he teased, "They can try but they can't stop Kitch. The older I get, the wickeder I getting." And he tipped his fedora and said goodbye.

In an interview, six years ago, Kitchener told TUCO marketing manager Rudolph Ottley: "My greatest happiness will be something built for calypso, a building, a hall, a theatre, built especially for calypso, that is my greatest dream right now.

Somebody, the government, build a theatre for calypso and just see that the name calypso is up on that building. That is what I would like to see, because we deserve it; the art deserves it."

Kitchener was also adamant when he refused to accept the Chaconia Gold Medal, in preference for a Trinity Cross. About his trophy shelves at his Rainorama Palace home being void of the Trinity Cross, Kitchener said: "Well, the whole world feel I should receive a Trinity Cross; it's not only in Trinidad.

"I personally, I sing for the love of singing, I sing for the people. I am not really concerned about receiving the Trinity Cross, but the people are behind me with that, so I with the people. But on my own, I will not say that I must receive it; it's the people who are saying that, so I accept the people's view."

Through a career spanning about six decades, Kitchener won the coveted Road March title on 13 occasions, the most times an individual has worn that crown. He was appropriately hailed at home and abroad as the Road March King of the World.

Born in Arima, Kitchener's 78th birthday will be on April 18. Having never learned music formally, Kitchener always took pride in regarding himself as a "born artiste and composer."

Unsuccessful in attempts to migrate to the United States, Kitchener opted for England instead where he made a name for himself. From London, he sent calypsoes every Carnival, and returned home in 1963, winning that year's Road March with the ditty aptly titled "The Road." He also placed second in the calypso monarch final, behind his main rival in the art form, Sparrow.

Kitchener went on to win the Road March title the following year ("Mama Dis is Mas"), repeating the feat in 1965 ("My Pussin'"), although he was in England.

Kitchener composed the first "pan calypso" ("The Beat of the Steelband") in 1944 and formed an extremely close allegiance and affinity with pan and the steelband movement. It is safe to say that Kitchener's compositions has had the most influence on the musical direction of the Panorama competition, with him contributing at least one song each year to the competition.

Amoco Renegades has been the steel orchestra Kitchener is most readily associated with. This relationship dates back to the founding of Renegades when Kitchener resided in La Cou Harpe, almost inside the panyard.

As Kitchener remained faithful to pan, so did Renegades to the Grandmaster. The Charlotte Street band, joint holder of the most national Panorama wins, captured almost every victory with a Kitchener selection, arranged by Jit Samaroo.

Kitchener's pan compositions helped elevate a number of steel orchestras as through the 37-year history of Panorama, 18 national titled have been copped by bands playing his calypsoes.

Beside ruling the road and Panorama, Kitchener was also a formidable opponent in the calypso monarch arena. Two years after his 1944 debut, Kitchener had the great Atilla the Hun pulling out all stops to hold on to the title. Kitch placed second, ahead of Pretender. Singing "Fever" and "Spree Simon" in 1975, Kitchener emerged a popular national monarch.

A true Calypso Pioneer and staunch advocate for the retention of traditional, pure calypso, and a strong objector to the hybrid soca, it was ironic that Kitchener's first attempt at recording a soca selection, "Sugar Bum Bum," would become his most successful single in terms of sales.

Despite his protestations over soca and "calypso singers," Kitchener eventually tried his hands at fusing authentic calypso with other genres of music. His adventure into jazz with "12-Bar Joan" also proved, as well as his colourful but brief courtship with disco music, in "Break Dancing."

Successive governments may have denied Kitchener the nation's highest award, but he enjoyed the highest respect and admiration from the people of this twin-island nation.

The Lord Kitchener died February 11, 2000! 

Lord Kitchener
Master of Trinidadian music who introduced the calypso to Britain

By Peter Mason

'The arrival, in 1948 at Tilbury docks, of "Lord Kitchener", who has died aged 77, is preserved on film. He had his guitar with him, and Kitchener, one of the great calypsonians - and the trailblazer responsible for the growth of Trinidadian music's popularity in Britain - appears as one of those dignified representatives of first-generation Caribbean immigrants. He was exotic, immaculately dressed and, as is the calypsonian's wont, ready with a line in topical verse.

Kitchener arrived on the Empire Windrush, the vessel that brought the first substantial group of postwar West Indian immigrants to Britain. He was one of the few Trinidadians on the ship - the majority were Jamaican - and he stayed for 14 years.

In 1951 he was on film again, leading the pitch invasion at Lords which followed the West Indies cricket team's first victory over England. By then, he was a chronicler of the Caribbean experience in Britain. There were calypsos like I Can't Stand The Cold In Winter, If You're Brown, My Landlady, and, more positively, London Is The Place For Me.

Calypso was shaped in Trinidad, where its blend of Latin American and African rhythms has long been a hugely popular vehicle for social and political commentary, witty insult, sexual innuendo and - as "the people's newspaper" - a way of analysing topical events.

Kitchener's first weeks in England were spent singing to bemused audiences in pubs, but within six months he had broken into the London nightclub circuit with his own band. The key to his success was an ability to reach beyond the Caribbean diaspora - indeed, Princess Margaret reputedly bought 100 copies of his Ah Bernice to send to friends.

With his earnings, he opened his own club in Manchester in 1958. But he retained his links with home. Throughout his stay, he sent songs back to Trinidad for its annual carnival; and, in London, he was part of the milieu which gave birth to the Notting Hill carnival in the late 1960s. By the time he moved back to Trinidad in late 1962 - after that country's independence - he had become a revered link with the prewar calypsonian tradition. He took his homeland by storm.

Aldwyn Roberts had taken the stage name "Kitchener" as a teenager. Born in Arima, he had resolved that, despite a lifelong stammer, he was going to make his fortune as a calypso singer. "Lord" was a title awarded by his fans.

Back home after England, he won Trinidad's road march title - awarded to the singer whose calypso is most played on the streets at each year's carnival - a staggering 10 times between 1963 and 1976, more than anyone else ever achieved. Crowned "Road March King of the World", he dominated the carnival: "Somebody going to frighten bad/ Because Kitchener come back to Trinidad." Thus wrote Tiny Terror in his Tribute To Kitchener calypso.

Mighty Sparrow was his only rival. In 1975, after Kitch won the carnival's annual calypso monarch competition, he and Sparrow retired from the event to open the field for other contenders.

Kitch recorded up to his death, performing with a vitality that put younger calypsonians to shame. He ran his own calypso tent for more than 30 years in Port of Spain, nurturing talent such as David Rudder and Black Stalin. He also composed for steel bands, having loved the steel pan since its emergence in the 1940s.

His style, concentrating on humour, double entendre and the quirks of everyday life, was sometimes criticised for its frivolity. But he did contribute to calypso's tradition of political commentary - speaking out against the government when other calypsonians kept quiet during Trinidad's 1970 black-power revolution. He supported pan-Africanism with his song Africa My Home (1957), and some of his early songs, including Yankee Sufferers (1945), were banned by the British colonial authorities.

Twice married, Kitch only left Trinidad for occasional tours in later life, cultivating a lifestyle that fitted his essential shyness. The people of Trinidad loved him. Latterly, his face appeared on a postage stamp, and there is a statue of him outside Port of Spain. He turned down a Chaconia medal, insulted that he was not thought worthy of Trinidad's highest honour, the Trinity Cross.

Kitch proclaimed himself the "grandmaster of calypso". He was.

Aldwyn Roberts, 'Lord Kitchener', calypsonian, born April 18 1922; died February 11 2000'

1. Carnival Road March 2:57
2. No More Taxi 2:36
3. Mango Tree 2:48
4. Food from the West Indies 2:45
5. Alphonso in Town 3:21
6. Come Back in the Morning 2:39
7. Too Late Kitch 3:05
8. Drink a Rum 2:45
9. Constable Joe 3:08
10. Pirates of Paria 2:39
11. Carnival in Town 2:51
12. Is Trouble 3:34
13. If You Brown 3:12
14. Life Begins at 40 3:10
15. Manchester Football Double 3:16
16. The Denis Compton Calypso 3:07
17. Mistress Jacob 2:55
18. London is the Place for Me 2:48
19. Tie Tongue 3:06
20. Dora (Meet Me at the Pawnshop) 2:47
21. If You're Not White You're Black 2:54
22. Africa My Home 2:44
23. Nora 2:58
24. Kitch in the Jungle 3:23

USA

Beautiful, heartfelt solo guitar renditions of traditional holidays songs played in Fahey's usual surreal delta/classical/country-blues style. One of the few Christmas albums that can be enjoyed year round. Fahey made several other Christmas albums, but this one is his classic.

'John Fahey has made a habit of recording a new album of Christmas music every five or six years, but The New Possibility, which was originally released in 1968, is still his best. On it, Fahey has pulled off the near miraculous feat of taking old holiday chestnuts like "Joy to the World" and "It Came upon a Midnight Clear" and making them sound fresh. When he plays a Travis-picking version of "O Come All Ye Faithful" or he recasts "Silent Night, Holy Night" as bottleneck blues, you get the feeling Fahey is treating the music with respect rather then piety. Also included in this reissue are six tracks from his 1975 release Christmas with John Fahey, Vol. II. The songs feature some nice duets with Rick Ruskin, but the arrangements lack some of the quirkiness that made The New Possibility sound unique. This isn't Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas," but it is a modern holiday classic nonetheless.' --Michael Simmons

Why You Should Listen to John Fahey’s Christmas Music—Even If You Hate Christmas Music

by Grayson Haver Currin

Have you ever listened to—or, better yet, read—the lyrics of “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”?

As holiday tunes tend to go, it has become a typical Christmas bauble, the stuff of coruscating soft-jazz renditions or tidal choral arrangements. Norah Jones cut a gorgeous version of it in 2012, her soprano curling with a sly country cool, while Frank Sinatra interrupted a fireside chat with Bing Crosby on Sinatra’s own television show to deliver a definitive take in 1957. The song sounds comforting, its seasonal calm the musical equivalent of a warm blanket and a dram of strong eggnog.

But “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” is a devastating tune. Written in 1849, as the United States recovered from a war and teetered at the brink of another, one that would split the country in two, “Midnight” presents the apocalypse as the only peaceful solution left. The end is the redemption, wrote Massachusetts minister Edmund Sears, offering relief from “life’s crushing load,” “the woes of sin and strife,” and “man, at war with man.” This isn’t a Christmas trifle; it’s a Christian’s prayer for a merciful exit, or at least a restart.

The guitarist John Fahey got this correct in 1968 on The New Possibility—his landmark first Christmas album, or the Fahey record people tend to know if they don’t know much Fahey. Released during one of the most productive portions of his career, just as his cult and commercial appeal began to converge, The New Possibility collects 14 diverse holiday tunes, from his tinny and pensive strum through “Auld Lang Syne” to a frenetic introductory take on “Joy to the World.” There’s a discursive ten-minute original called “Christ’s Saints of God Fantasy,” every bit as imaginative as Fahey’s most heralded work, and a brilliantly moaning blues slide through the antediluvian slave spiritual “Go, I Will Send Thee.”

It’s his 90-second “Midnight,” though, that is the record’s real stunning bit of emotional sophistication—and, by extension, a proclamation that we should all expect more from Christmas music. Fahey plays the hymn with painstaking slowness, peeling apart the chords until you can make out each halting note and even the shifts of his hands between them. He bends some of the notes until they’re hollow and flat, while he plucks others until they shine like stars. Fahey’s thoughtful technique subtly, wordlessly expresses the tension of Sears’ original hymn—a vision of despair, cut by a hope for redemption. The playing is not technically perfect, the production not at all polished. It is, instead, an honest admission of a complex admixture of joy and depression, rendered for a season that often demands we just smile and listen to Sinatra sing again about Santa Claus.

In the 40 years since Fahey reimagined the depths Christmas music could reach, the holiday oeuvre has remained largely static—dominated by late crooners, ostentatious symphonies, and glittering megastars. Sure, there’s been the occasional 8-bit curiosity, an impressionistic seasonal genre-bender, the requisite ’90s alternative nation compilation, and even a new-wave oddities assortment. At least one band, Low, has traced the craters and peaks of holiday moods with a surprising Christmas masterpiece of its own.

Mostly, though, independent and especially experimental musicians have ceded an entire season that overflows with immense sadness, delight, intimacy, alienation, gluttony, and charity—not to mention a wealth of shared vernacular music—to singers who either flatten those feelings or make melodrama of them. For decades, Fahey has inspired flocks of younger musicians, who have either aped his sense of melody and meter altogether or drawn deep influence from his substance and style. But they’ve mostly ignored and sometimes even scoffed at what may be the most consistent and broadly appealing element of his career—Christmas music. Maybe it’s time to fix that.

Critics often represent Fahey as a monolithic genius, a savant of syncopated six-string brood and little else. But his career was a sidewinding rollercoaster, prone to shuttle him anywhere a mix of narcotics and nostalgia, alcohol and obsessions dictated. He did Dixieland jazz and hardline blues, mimetic pop and immersive ragas, psychedelic rock and aloof drone.

One of the few true threads through his career was religious music. From centuries-old hymns he learned as a kid in the Episcopal church to the spirituals he rediscovered while hunting for rare records in the South’s deepest hollers, Fahey vacillated between faithful renditions and irreverent adaptations, the songs bent into chimeras of his idiosyncratic will. Church, after all, had been his musical incubator, nurturing his skills outside of a home so difficult he later mythologized it. As Steve Lowenthal’s excellent Fahey biography, Dance of Death, suggests, religious songs were a vital connection to the childhood Fahey spent his life trying to reconcile and recapture. Christmas songs epitomized this tenuous tie.

In all, Fahey made five Christmas albums, releasing at least one during every full decade of his career. By the time he died in 2001, he’d infamously dismissed his early, influential acoustic work as saccharine claptrap. But he kept with Christmas music even after he’d come to that conclusion, playing annual holiday concerts and releasing a (very uneven) seasonal finale in the early ’90s. He recorded so much holiday music, in fact, that he would frequently revisit songs he’d previously recorded. The differences between the versions are telling about how far afield the same material can move and, more broadly, by how much can be expressed with a small clutch of standards.

By the time Fahey recut the bulk of The New Possibility for 1982’s Christmas Guitar, Vol. 1, the doubt and worry he expressed in his first “Joy to the World,” where he seemed anxiously emphatic, resolved into graceful acceptance. On his rendition of “White Christmas,” from his 1975 seasonal sequel, Fahey constantly stunts the melody and slides it just so, letting the song’s structure implode until he picks up a piece at random; the narrator, it seems, is too drunk on regret and whiskey to finish writing those Christmas cards. Two decades later, on an album of duets with Portland guitarist Terry Robb, Fahey buffed those feelings clean as he looked back on the past like an aging sentimentalist smiling at the good times. Likewise, his 1975 version of “O’ Holy Night” is confident and guileless, with Fahey pulling hard against the strings as if he were himself responsible for Jesus’ birth announcement. He knew better by the early ’90s, when he delivered the song with a quiet awe, as though trying to avoid waking the same baby. For Fahey, holiday music allowed for a sort of evolving emotional inventory and a dependable corrective for heavy feelings. It, like him, could change.

After all, Christmas can be as woeful as it is wonderful. There’s family drama and heartbreaking nostalgia. There are few harder times to miss a lost friend or lover, and, if you happen to not ride the yuletide for religious reasons, there is no holiday that’s more culturally isolating. There’s even the long-standing myth that suicide increases during the holidays.

The modern Christmas canon already bears this out. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” which Fahey could never get quite right, is a monumentally sad transmission from an abyss of loneliness. Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and Charles Brown’s “Please Come Home for Christmas,” now both classics, scan crowds of happy revelers and realize they can’t share that elation. Santa Claus is neither always coming to town, nor are the angels always giving glory to the newborn king.

So why have so many musicians who aren’t pop or country stars turned their backs on that body of work, refusing to acknowledge the way it dominates our shared space for two months and challenge how it sounds? Maybe it’s too mawkish or too cynically commercial, a cold way to cash out in perpetuity.

That’s too bad, because blockbuster Christmas music isn’t going anywhere. It sells too well, providing a prospective sales boon for sometimes-faltering companies for decades to come. Bing Crosby’s take on “White Christmas” has sold 50 million copies , making it the best-selling record ever, while Elvis’ first Christmas record long ago waltzed beyond Diamond status. A Very She & Him Christmas has sold more than any of the pair’s other albums. Christmas maximalist Sufjan Stevens charted on the Billboard 200 both times he released five-disc box sets of Christmas music, featuring both excellent traditional takes and original songs. Fahey wasn’t immune to the Christmas bump, either: After The New Possibility stunned everyone with six-figure sales and helped fund his work for decades, he participated in a dozen reissues and re-recordings (and even a guitar tablature guide), trying to tap back into that financial magic. Fahey played the game and at least suggested its rules could be rewritten.

They still can. The experimental possibilities for holiday tunes are endless and, sometimes, admittedly ridiculous. The recursive structure of “Twelve Days of Christmas,” for instance, is a standing invitation to a modern composer’s reappraisal, like a Sarah Kirkland Snider song cycle or a pointillist symphony that echoes the ideas of Steve Reich. The stately stillness of “Silent Night” and a dozen other Christmas hymns begs for an ambient interpretation, perhaps with Daniel Lanois’ steel guitar tracing the melodies through a snowy haze, as he did long ago for Brian Eno. If “My Favorite Things” is off limits for improvisers since John Coltrane redefined it, no one told the likes of Tony Bennett or Rod Stewart, who continue to cut it for redundant Christmas records. Let’s hear the aggressive saxophone quartet Battle Trance give it a go.

In the world of solo guitar, Fahey is nothing short of a godhead. Still, very few of his descendents have tried to best Fahey’s own seasonal accomplishments. Imagine guitarist Steve Gunn and drummer John Truscinski digging into the emotional folds of “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” or Marisa Anderson wrestling her own truth from “Go, I Will Send Thee.” And imagine the Fahey faithful who could provide outré interpretations of new Christmas classics, like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” or Kelly Clarkson’s “Underneath the Tree.” Promising pop-punk bands and sharp country singers have had fun remaking such songs in their own images, but experimental musicians remain painfully hesitant to make this music reflect their experiences. That seems like an opportunity that the mischievous Fahey, who made his career recontextualizing the accessible alongside the esoteric, might have relished.

“When people hear his music, they’re let into a world that is still connected to theirs but has gone farther, taken more chances, had more highs and lows than they will ever have,” Jim O’Rourke said of Fahey. “It’s the expression of a human being who has gone through extremes in his life, but when he expressed these feelings, it comes direct from the heart.”

That’s the perfect encapsulation of John Fahey’s Christmas music and its surprising depth. He made standard, familiar songs resonate anew, because he filtered them through a life of difficulty and delight. Is there any other reason to make music, in this or any other season?

John Fahey made the best Christmas album ever

The solo-guitar record "The New Possibility" combines familiar and age-old tunes with wild-ass playing

By Scott Timberg

'Christmas music can be treacly, overfamiliar, corny and awful. But the few exceptions out there can be genuinely exciting — music you hear for only a few weeks each year, but often have a 20- or 30-year relationship with. For a lot of people, Vince Guaraldi’s "A Charlie Brown Christmas" record is a great memory that re-emerges every winter. The classic Christmas songs — many of them written by Jewish men in ties — like Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" have hardly become dated. More recent recordings by Sufjan Stevens and She & Him bring an earnest Christian spirit, and a sweet retro irony, respectively, to the table. There are also wonderful R&B takes on the winter solstice, like James Brown's "Santa's Got a Brand New Bag" and collections like "Soul Christmas," with Otis Redding singing "Merry Christmas, Baby" and Carla Thomas crooning "All I Want for Christmas Is You."

As delightful as all of these, but also mysterious and genuinely weird, is "The New Possibility," a close-mic’ed solo-acoustic record by the self-proclaimed American Primitive guitarist John Fahey. On the surface, this is a traditional collection of both classic Christmas songs (“Joy to the World,” “The First Noel”) with older, eerier pieces like “What Child Is This” (the music for which comes from "Greensleeves," which dates back to the 1580s, when Shakespeare was a teenager.) But listening to this album is not like going to church: It’s full of drones and weird tunings and spooky broken chords and clanging, angular guitar playing. It’s the songs you know all too well, but played by an avant-garde madman with an oddly appealing sense of melody. This is strange stuff, but you can hum a lot of it.

Fahey was born in 1939. Like Bob Dylan, who arrived two years later, he was part of the movement by American white kids to track down blues legends. Fahey managed to locate, for example, the great blues guitarist Bukka White. Fahey and friends also found an aged and forgotten Skip James in a Mississippi hospital, which helped spark the decade’s blues revival. In 1963, he moved from the Washington, D.C., area, where he’d grown up, to Berkeley and then Los Angeles.

Besides the Christmas record, Fahey recorded music inspired by acoustic country blues — his work in folklore at UCLA was on the Delta guitarist Charley Patton — as well as explicitly religious pieces like the Anglican hymn “In Christ There Is No East or West.” He drew musical inspiration from Bela Bartok and Charles Ives, but rarely played classical music on guitar.

“The New Possibility” brings together tunefulness and abstraction, black and white tradition. It’s no surprise that his cult enlisted indie rockers like M. Ward, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, and various Pacific Northwestern musicians after he settled in Oregon in his last years. His guitar style sounded fresh to these young ears. “The open strings are so dissonant with what he’s playing,” says Robert Fink, a musicology professor at UCLA, amateur acoustic guitarist, and self-described Fahey freak. It sounds like the blues, Fink said, but more so. “He just found other blue notes — and he would dwell on them for what felt like an hour.”

The Christmas album was released in 1968, and caught the guitarist before he'd completely spun out. “Because he was a ’60s guy, and had probably done a lot of drugs, there’s a stoned-out feel to it,” Fink said. You can have your middle-American cake, then and get high to it, too.

Fahey was a serious drinker, and known to many as an unpleasant fellow. One musician who I figured would be eager to rave about Fahey’s guitar playing refused to discuss him, calling him “a pig of a human being.” He spent his last years in Salem, Oregon — some of that time in a motel, some of it living out of his car — selling vinyl to used record stores and over the Internet. After a series of health problems, he died in 2001 after a coronary bypass operation. “His life was a dead end,” Fink says. “A classic tortured soul. He left behind wreckage.”

Fahey also left behind some bizarre and enduring music, and “The New Possibility” is close to the best of it. By a coincidence I don’t entirely understand, my father and stepmother had a (vinyl) copy of the album, and we played it so much at Christmas each year that I now feel like I know every note. I heard it way before I heard the modernist folk songs of Bartok, before I heard Sonic Youth’s alternate tunings, before I heard the unholy beauty of Richard Thompson’s guitar playing. I don’t know that any of these artists — some of my very favorites — would have made any sense to me if I had not heard John Fahey’s “A New Possibility” first, and learned to appreciate its dark magic. This eccentric, nasty man playing drones and holiday cheer on a steel-string guitar opened up my mind and ears, and helped me see God in a dissonant universe. Now please pass the eggnog.'

ACE Records
'It probably surprised a few people that guitar eccentric John Fahey chose to record Christmas music. This release comprises the majority of not one but two Christmas releases from 1968 and 1975. Most of the instrumentals on both albums will be familiar, such as "White Christmas," "The First Noel," and "What Child Is This?" On The New Possibility: John Fahey's Guitar Soli Christmas Album, Fahey plays alone, using unusual harmonics and open tunings to turn in pleasant versions of classic Christmas songs. This is a relaxed album, with a pleasing version of "We Three Kings of Orient Are" and a nice fingerpicking adaptation of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Fantasy." The music from the second album, Christmas with John Fahey, Vol. 2 includes several duets with guitarist Richard Ruskin, giving this music a fuller sound and offering a nice contrast to the first album. "Oh Holy Night" presents an abundance of textures, as light and airy as the season, but more resonant due to the continuous melody line. While the material from both albums is satisfying, the later album gathers more depth and presence by the addition of Ruskin's unique but complementary guitar work. The instrumentals on the second album are also more eclectic, as with the "Russian Christmas Overture" and the 12-minute "Christmas Fantasy, Pt. 2." On this tune, Fahey uses a more eccentric approach, creating the type of Christmas music a fan would expect from him. This instrumental contains more dissonance and improvising than the other material, but nonetheless retains a seasonal air. This is a fine collection of holiday guitar music. -AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

1968 was a very busy year for John Fahey, aka Blind Thomas, aka Blind Joe Death. He had already recorded and released two albums, his 8th and 9th volumes of solo guitar compositions. In the spring came The Yellow Princess with its new found confidence, delicate reworkings of complicated classical themes, and the noise collage: "The Singing Bridge Of Tennessee", which was followed closely by "The Voice Of The Turtle", a spellbinding collection that reportedly cost 15 cents more to manufacture the robust gatefold sleeve and book than they were charging. 
Fahey then had an idea. "I was in the back of a record store in July and I saw all these cartons of Bing Crosby's White Christmas albums. The clerk said it always sells out. So I got the idea to do a Christmas album that would sell every year."

It turned out to be the only commercially successful idea Fahey ever had. He called the album The New Possibility and filled it with syncopated carols. It almost went gold. He explains on the original sleeve: "The songs are syncopated, not because I feel that syncopation or 'swinging the carols' is more in keeping with the times, but simply because I prefer to play them the way I do." In reality John Fahey brought his genius for taking core melody and literally 'picking' at it in such a way that the tune, no matter how familiar, became a Fahey original. No mean feat on solo unaccompanied guitar, but Fahey's unique style of creating a waterfall of sliding notes against a loping, meandering flat-picked backdrop seems to be infinitely adaptable.

Fahey often seems to draw his inspiration from soulful, bluesy spiritual origins. Many of his albums would end with a hymn, as usual you can feel Fahey coaxing the melody out of the well-worn familiar number, showing the little gem inside the husk. Those that follow his long and meandering path through the years, get to recognise how he will re-work phrases and patch in half forgotten ancient blues originals and ghosts of traditional folk refrains. The Christmas albums are no exception: it's a delight to hear rather well-worn carols being reworked, highlighting the intricate melodies, often endowing them with a distinct un-Christmassy feel, but then that's Fahey.

Since 1968 John Fahey has recorded three more Christmas albums, and one of Easter hymns, but Christmas with John Fahey, Volume Two is easily the best of the rest, including, as it does, some gleaming and exciting duets with Rick Ruskin. Listen to Russian Christmas Overture, included along with virtually all of the second album on this new package. The two albums have been married onto one CD for this release, omitting just one piece due to time constraints.' --By Phil Smee

Notes to The New Possibility

John Fahey
Takoma C-1020
From the original Takoma cover (1968)
It is Christmas all year; let us rejoice ecstatically, but. . .

Paul Tillich once referred somewhere to the birth of Jesus Christ as "The New Possibility," in an attempt, I think, to deal with several problematic topics. Among these is the following: to divorce from Christian thought several secular and mythological and / or superstitious ideas connected with the "Christmas Story" as it is added to the Gospel of Matthew and later, according to many scholars using historical criticism, copied and edited by Luke. The earliest Gospel, Mark, makes no mention of this story nor does the latest, John. Jesus himself never referred to the popular conception of his birth and referred to his mother as "mother." Nowhere else in the gospels do we find references to astrologers, "no room in the inn," mangers, or angels attending, even the littlest one. I am certain that St. Francis of Assisi way back in the 13th century while attempting to Christianize the pagan winter solstice customs had no idea what would happen to his praespium. It happened. Nevertheless, we may yet rejoice.

While the Christmas story, garbled as it is, remains the most popular aspect of secularized, not to mention commercialized, Christianity, Tillich attempts to de-emphasize and, at the same time, give a new but forgotten meaning to this presumably minor and / or irrelevant portion of "Christian" thought with his term, "Die Neue Möglicheit." The birth of this New Possibility has nothing to do with Christmas trees, presents, Santa Claus, and little to do with superstitious thoughts regarding virgin births, astrologers, bodily ascensions of virgins, etc. The New Possibility is rather the gift of reconciliation between God and man. He is for all men at all times and places.

That he was begotten and not made is most important (non-propositionally significant). But the particular time and place of his birth is hardly the point - or rather, it is a matter for speculation.
What is also important is what he said. Easter is to me much more important than Christmas, and while I may have inadvertently misinterpreted Tillich elsewhere, I believe Easter is of much more importance to him also, and should be for the rest of us. Consequently, I am planning an Easter album of sorts but, analogously, it will have nothing to do with Easter Bunnies, nor with Easter eggs left by presumably viviparous rabbits. And, as with Christmas and other seasons, the album will emphasize that that most glorious event and season is a year-round cause for rejoicing. So, let us (and all year)!

Christmas and Easter are the two most important events of the Christian calendar, and should as such be celebrated with all due awe and respect, but not underneath a pagan Christmas tree, or in a department store, or by searching for the illusive commercial-divine EGG. I seriously doubt if the Son of Man ascended to Heaven on a rabbit; I doubt if He sits on the right hand of Santa Claus. And children do not need to be told these things; it makes Christianity much less possible for them in later years. Superstition does not aid Christianity; it does not need it. Christianity is not a religion of superstition anyway, although you may think it is.

Nevertheless, let us do celebrate and rejoice (in proper fashion) the New Possibility; and let us do so with music among other things. Insofar as this album is, unfortunately, a commercial product - someone might buy it as a Christmas present - I may be found to be in contradiction; also since it contains the secular "Auld Lang Syne" - a concession to the secular calendar - and "I Sing A Song of the Saints of God" (fantasy) - a concession to my own ignorance of Christmas Carols and their adaptability to the guitar. As for fantasies, most of the "Christmas Story" is one anyway. So, why not? I do not claim to be perfect, and I hope the reader / listener will forgive this slight transgression. As Rudolf Bultmann says, "We ought not to imagine this either in the arrogance of self-satisfaction or in the despondence of self-condemnation. Rather we should believe that our true life is hidden from us. Indeed even now we are already 'children of God' but 'it does not yet appear what we shall be' (I John 3:2)." (Used without permission from Existence and Faith, Meridian Books, pg. 281.)
The songs are, wherever possible, syncopated, not because I feel that syncopation or "swinging the Carols" is more in keeping "with the times" (about which I could care less - blast Hegel's legacy of PROGRESS!), but simply because I prefer to play them the way I do. . . I hope that you like my new arrangements - they are not progressive; "different" is the word - and I hope that you will celebrate Christmas with me, and above all rejoice in the fact of the Birth of The New Possibility.

John Fahey
October, 1968


The New Possibility: John Fahey's Guitar Soli Album:
1. Joy To The World 1:52
2. What Child Is This? 3:02
3. Medley: Hark The Herald Angels Sing/O Come All Ye Faithful 3:10
4. Auld Lang Syne 2:01
5. The Bells Of St Mary's 2:10
6. Good King Wenceslas 1:10
7. We Three Kings Of Orient Are 1:50
8. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 3:00
9. The First Noel 2:12
10. Christ's Saints Of God Fantasy 10:12
11. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear 1:28
12. Go I Will Send Thee 3:00
13. Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming 3:45
14. Silent Night Holy Night 1:14

Christmas With John Fahey Vol. ll:

15. O Holy Night - Duet with Richard Ruskin 3:26
16. Christmas Medley: Oh Tannenbaum/Angels We Have Heard On High/Jingle Bells - Duet with Richard Ruskin 3:28
17. Russian Christmas Overture - Duet with Richard Ruskin  6:45
18. White Christmas 4:55
19. Carol Of The Bells - Duet with Richard Duskin 2:34
20. Christmas Fantasy Part ll 12:20
Extra Track
21. Christmas Fantasy Part l  11:42

Notes
Incl. booklet

Ghost Town

'The tracks from two vinyl 10-inches on one compact disc. This is a collection of oddball country weepers, moody rockabilly tunes and popcorn noir from the 1950s and early 60s. So turn out the lights, sit back and relax to the sounds from a jukebox in a ghost town...'

1. Intro 0:35
2. Ray Stevens - Laughing All Over My Grave 2:41
3. Bobby Wall - Baby It's Too Much 2:04
4. Dave Gardner - Mad Witch 2:36
5. The Gatemen - The Klan 2:13
6. Selwyn Cox - His Name Is Jesus 3:05
7. Jimmy Minor - Satan's Chauffeur 1:56
8. Ken & Carol Craig + The Lawrence Bros. Combo - Silver Coin 2:23
9. Marvin Rainwater - The Pale Faced Indian 2:39
10. Hayden Thompson - Watcha Gonna Do 2:55
11. Kip Tyler - Eternity (Surfer's Lament) 2:38
12. Juan Montego & His Habana Sound - Come Back Juanita 2:48
13. Billy Fury - Don't Jump 3:40
14. Steve Arlen - They Took John Away 2:33
15. Jerry Irby - The Night I Whipped The Devil 2:46
16. Johnny Pelvin - Cast Iron Arm 2:13
17. Magnificient 7 - Baby Doll 2:18
18. El Clod - Gringo 2:04
19. Warren Smith - The Hanging Day 2:24
20. Steve King - Satan Is Her Name 2:36
21. Danny Welch - Ridin' Shotgun 2:35
22. Ric Cartey - Born To Love One Woman 2:17
23. Johnny Bond - All I Can Do Is Cry 1:57
24. Sons Of The Pioneers - Buffalo 2:26
25. Gunsmoke Outro 0:23

Chicago

''Not had time to share this until now. On the train journey back to Manchester I sat back , beautiful scenery and One-derful, Mar-V-Lus Northern Soul (30 Rare Dancers from 60's Chicago) CD belting though me earplugs. An absolute fecking pleasure. Awesome compilation!!'' -Drew3

''What a Cd that is !! Been a fave in my car for ages, Joseph Moore absolutely cracking track - cant afford one of course. Then theres one of my fave cheapies - The Admirations - Don't Leave Me, top tune!!!

Salt & Black pepper for me too!!'' -Alan

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.
'Most people will not remember One-Derful/Mar V Lus Records out of Chicago. Back in the early 60's til the early 7o's or so, this record label produced some of the funkiest r&b artists of this period. McKinley Mitchell, Otis Clay, The 5 Dutones, The DuEttes, Harold Burrage, Johnny Sayles and others. Musical Arrangements are by Willie Henderson, Charles Handy, Monk Higgins or Tom Washington. This compilation contains various selections from this record company. All of the tracks are MONO but they sound decent. I see that this record which I purchased from Amazon a year ago is out of print. If you get lucky and find this cd at a flea market or cut out bin somewhere, you will have a good slice of real soul.' -rollo

1. Ringleaders - Baby What Has Happened To Our Love 2:15
2. The Du-Ettes - Every Beat Of My Heart 2:44
3. The Sharpees - Tired Of Being Alone 2:37
4. Joseph Moore - I Still Can't Get You 2:37
5. The Accents - Spring Song (New Girl) 2:31
6. Otis Clay - I Don't Know What To Do 2:05
7. The Admirations - Don't Leave Me 2:51
8. Josephine Taylor - Ain't Gonna Cry No More 2:29
9. The Blenders - Your Love Has Got Me Down 2:23
10. Lucky Laws - Who Is She 2:22
11. Harold Burrage - More Power To You 2:29
12. Willie Parker - Don't Fight It 2:37
13. The Accents - Who Are You Gonna Love? 2:17
14. Johnny Sayles - I'm Satisfied 2:20
15. Joe And Mack - Don't You Worry 2:47
16. The Young Folk - Lonely Girl 2:01
17. The Sharpees - Do The 45 2:31
18. The Admirations - Wait Til I Get To Know You 2:28
19. Otis Clay - Showplace 2:17
20. The Du-Ettes - Please Forgive Me 2:19
21. Willie Parker - Don't Hurt The One You Love 2:34
22. The Blenders - Love Is A Good Thing 'Goin 2:48
23. The Accents - You Better Think Again 2:40
24. Johnny Sayles - Tell Me Where I Stand 2:26
25. The Ultimations - Would I Do It Over 3:03
26. Alvin Cash And Crawlers, The - Twine Time 2:21
27. Betty Everette - Please Love Me 2:26
28. Miss Madeline - Behave Yourself 2:33
29. Harold Burrage - Master Key 2:54
30. Beverley Shaffer - Where Will You Be Boy? 2:28

Notes
Incl. Artwork
Goldmine Soul Supply ‎– GSCD 102

Turkey

This debut studio album by Les Mogol/Moğollar is one of the classics of the Anatolian rock genre. The band mixes psychedelic rock with elements from traditional Turkish music and folk.

'Marvelous piece of Oriental progressive jazz ! These four young Turkish guys had the good idea to combine traditional music from their land to pop rock and jazz (as it was done before in India). They play bass, drums, guitar and organ plus several traditional Turkish instruments. You will certainly appreciate the groove of “Iklig” and “Sunset in Golden Horn” (sampled by Jay Dee) with a subtle oriental psychedelism, but the whole album is wonderful with percussions breaks. Very hard to find now, great condition !' -Victor Kiswell

'This is a bit of an obscure gem, but its really worthy of exploring for fans of late sixties, early seventies Psychedelic jam outs and experimentation. ‘Dances and Rhythms of Turkey of yesterday and Today’, is the debut release from Les Mogol, otherwise known as Mogollar in reference to The Mogul (the great Islamic Empire) and is commonly sited as amongst the first, if not the first, Anatolian Pop record released into the worlds market. 

The story goes that a group of four young Turks from different Anatolian villages met in France, where they explored the new ‘Pop’ music that was being released throughout Europe. All very skilled musicians of Turkish traditional instruments, plus adding guitar and piano, they joined a band in 67 and continued to explore and experiment Euro psychedelic sounds using traditional Turkish instruments. 

On the reverse sleeve it reads quite proudly; “Their kind of music, based on the exotic folklore heritage of Anatolia, enriched by modern rhythms merged with the impassioned strains of the Turkish national idioms, stimulated the formation of numerous other new groups. Even to the limits of the remotest Turkish villages. Andadolu (Anatolian) Pop has achieved an immense public following. We are happy indeed to be the first to introduce it to you”.

There’s something really intriguing about this record. Its an instrumental record full of psychedelic/folkish pieces that would go really well as soundtrack music. Played very simply and sparsely. At times just a drum and piano hold the tune, while in other moments we have a Hammond keyboard sound and rumbling bass throwing around very catchy, hummable and memorable musical phrases. 

A recommended record to fans of World and Psychedelic music.'

'Mogollar -- who were known as Les Mogol in France -- released this, their debut album, in 1971, while living in Paris. A mix of traditional Turkish source material and Western beats -- especially the bass and piano parts -- the effects are spellbinding throughout this recording, which is all instrumental. Think of this as the Middle Eastern equivalent of Duke Ellington's "Far East Suite" or John McLaughlin's nearly contemporaneous experiments in the same direction with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. The difference is that Mogollar plunge into the subtleties of the Eastern material more successfully, and meld the material better, possibly because they had little to prove beyond making a bold debut album -- whether they would ever get any sales or airplay out of it seems to have been far from anyone's thinking. The irony of it was that, first in France and then across Europe, and even in their native Turkey, the record was flooded with positive reviews, and it received the coveted Grand Prix du Disque -- a truly prestigious award, more so than the Grammy -- by the Charles Cros Academie in Paris. The 2003 CD reissue offers a crisp, clear mastered sound and vivid textures all around, from Hasan Sel's rock-solid electric bass to Murat Ses' surging, pulsing keyboards.' -AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder

A1 Toroslar 1:18
A2 Lorke 2:28
A3 Ilgaz 3:09
A4 Madimak 2:02
A5 Iklig 3:18
A6 Fairy Chimneys 2:13
A7 Sunset In Golden Horn 4:15
B1 Legend Of Mount Ararat 3:48
B2 Hamsi 2:40
B3 Wild Flower 3:39
B4 Cahit's Tune 2:06
B5 To A Clear Mind 2:25
B6 Kaleidoscopic Dream 4:57

London

The latest volumes in this highly acclaimed series presenting the music of the Windrush generation: the post-war, London recordings of West Indians and West Africans, in the first wave of modern migration to Britain. Volume 7 - Calypso, Palm-Wine, Mento, Joropo, Steel and Stringband overflows with diverse musical styles, including steel band, stringband, calypso, joropo and mento. Absolutely joyous.

'Honest Jon's "London Is The Place For Me" series has been dormant for a while, but previously offered a much-needed history lesson in the musical contribution made by Afro-Caribbean immigrants in the capital city during the post-war period. This seventh volume - the first for six years - continues this admirable approach by focusing on calypso, mento, Joropo and steel band music. It's a wonderfully eye-opening collection that includes a mixture of tracks by well-known musical SS Empire Windrush passengers - Lord Beginner being the most famous - as well as lesser-known lights who combined Island rhythms and instrumentation with lyrics about life in Britain. Superb stuff.'

'Honest Jon’s vital, flagship series returns with a reminder of the cultural turning point when Caribbean migrants began to make their crucial contribution to UK life Arriving 6 years on from the previous volume, ‘London Is The Place For Me 7 & 8’ rustles a haul of  Calypso, Palm-Wine, Mento, Joropo, Steel & Stringband gems that, like the previous volumes, owners will return to over and again, receiving a history lesson and an elegant call to the dance wrapped up in each listen.

Still deeper forays into the musical landscape of the Windrush generation. A dazzling range of calypso, mento, joropo, steelband, palm-wine and r’n'b. Expert revivals of stringband music, from way back, alongside proto-Afro-funk. An uproarious selection of songs about the H-Bomb and modern phones, prostitution and Haile Selassie, mid-life crisis and the London Underground, racism and solidarity, the Highway Code and a 100% West Indian Royal Wedding.

For example some frantic British-Guianan joropo music-hall about Eatwell Brown from Clapham, who starts out biting off a piece of his mother-in-law’s face at a party, then devours everything in his path… a chunk of Brixton Prison, a Union Jack, a policeman’s uniform. Or Marie Bryant — collaborator of Lester Young and Duke Ellington — taking time off from skewering the South African PM Daniel Malan at her West End revue, to contribute some arch, swinging filth about uber-genitalia.'

London Is The Place For Me 7:
1. Lord Beginner - Sons and Daughters of Africa 3:00
2. The Lion - Royal Wedding 2:59
3. The Mighty Terror - Hydrogen Bomb 3:10
4. Dai Dai Simba - Modern Telephone 2:31
5. Willie Payne & The Starlite Tempos - Wa Sise 2:40
6. The Mighty Terror - Emperor of Africa 2:38
7. Louise Bennett - Bongo Man 2:26
8. Marie Bryant - My Handy Man 2:40
9. Nigerian Union Rhythm Group - Tortoise Mambo 2:32
10. Calypso Rhythm Kings - Boule Vese 2:19
11. The Mighty Terror - Life is Like a Puzzle 2:51
12. The Mighty Terror - Chinese Children 2:40
13. Bill Rogers - Hungry Man from Clapham 2:18
14. Lili Verona - Underground Train 3:11
15. The Lion - Highway Code 3:10
16. Billy Sholanke - Kana Kana 3:12
17. Calypso Rhythm Kings - L'année Passée 3:16
18. Lord & Lady Beginner - One Morning 3:08
19. West African Rhythm Brothers - Ema Foju 2:36
20. Trinidad Steel Band - Caroline 2:11

UK

Brenda's musical journey continued from naafi sandwich to engineer/produce/record own tracks at Naffi Studio (now 8 track 1" analogue Scully), with her amalgamation of electro pop doo wop hip hop as Brenda and The BeachBalls.

'KEEPER. Amazing. ALL great... But 'Theme from a Tall Dark Stranger' is very cosmic stuff.' -beatdigger

'Holy crap is this EP good! Well really fricken great actually. Every song is a complete winner on this 5 track EP. The production quality that was achieved on this recording is amazingly rich and full bodied. Probe Plus was one of the best labels to emerge during the initial UK DIY movement of the late 70s early 80s and this was easily one of their strongest releases without a doubt. Five stars all the wAY.' -dsyn2spin

‘I first came across her music when her "Volume one" record came out on Probe Plus. I used to always see it in bargain bins in record shops in Edinburgh and am now constantly kicking myself that I didn’t buy a copy when I had the chance. I must have first actually heard her music in the late 90s when I came across “Starlight” which I bought because I knew the label from their Prince Far I releases. I was instantly smitten though it took me a while longer before I made the connection with Naffi / Freddie Viadukt.

I think although she fits in that DIY / post punk continuum her work also transcends it. There’s a definite pop sensibility going on, even if it’s at the slightly weird end of pop though I can imagine some of her 80s records could have crossed over but her music is really out there on its own. It is out of time with the time it was made which is perhaps why it sound so fresh today. The only thing I think comes close in scope of imagination and originality from that era is the stuff that was coming out on the It’s War Boys label.’ -JD Twitch (Optimo)

Although Sir Freddie Viadukt had been a consistent presence in Ray’s post-Naffi work – helping to mix ‘Walatta’ – he had a more discernible involvement in Ray’s last significant 80s release ‘Volume One’, a collection released under the Brenda & The Beach Balls guise. His frantic yelps and proto-electro cut-ups pepper ‘Wait’ and the Naffi original he penned, ‘Everyday Just Another Dream’ receives a notable reinterpretation. However, it’s Ray’s own contribution, ‘Theme From A Tall Dark Stranger’ which makes for the most memorable standout. It finds her in an introspective mood. Crude synth bass tones, chiming percussion and softly hummed vocals gradually ascend into a sublime oriental lilt which is eventually filled out by expressive runs of fiddle and saxophone. A bittersweet Balearic dawn song, it sounds like the lost theme to a Wong Kar Wai film. The aural equivalent of someone fading from view. It represented one of Ray’s last significant missives, a beautiful note to end on.

Volume One, 12" 5 track vinyl ep, Probe Plus 1986:

A1 Rain Keeps Falling 5:41
A2 Wait 4:73
B1 Everyday Another Dream 3:04
B2 Please Don´t Tell 2:30
B3 Theme From A Tall Dark Stranger 4:15

Extra Tracks:
1. Dancin Thru The Night 5:11
2. Theme From A Tall Dark Stranger 4:12
3. Every Day Another Dream 3:05

Credits
Artwork – Jahcuzzi
Bass – Dicky Rude (tracks: A2)
Bass, Guitar, Voice, Electronics [Cut-Ups] – Sir Freddy Viadukt
Fiddle – Dave Clarke (tracks: B1, B3)
Lacquer Cut By – Kevin Metcalfe
Producer – Brenda Kenny, Sir Freddy Viadukt
Saxophone – Big Jo Ros (tracks: A2, B3)
Voice, Percussion, Melodica, Xylophone, Drums, Synth, Electronics [Cut-Ups] – Brenda Kenny

Congo

Ok Jazz was on fire during this period....man! that guitar....Grand Maitre, you remain the greatest!

'En Colere (Sonodisc CDS 6852) This essential CD reissues in full the 1980 "comeback" album Vraiment En Colere Vol. 1 (translation: "Really Angry"), the first album Franco made after moving his operations to Europe (following a short jail sentence in Zaire for obscene lyrics) to take advantage of superior recording facilities, expand his audience and conquer America. The album, released in the USA by Makossa Records under the title On Entre OK On Sort KO Vol. 1, leads off strong with the magnificent "Takoma Ba Camarade Pamba" and its unforgettable melody and glorious sebene. The band sustains a classic groove on the steady driving "Arzoni", "Tokabola Sentiment" rocks out when it's good and ready, and the tightly wound "Loboka" brings the original album to a close as it gently unwinds. The two add-ons include a gem from A L'Ancienne Belgique and the lead track from the follow-up Vraiment En Colere Vol. 2 called "Peuch del Sol," which Franco wrote in tribute to his favorite Brussels seafood restaurant.' -Joe Yanosik

A Consumer Guide to FRANCO

''Tokoma Ba Camarade Pamba (Lyrics and Translation)''

'This is one of Franco’s classic songs and most reknown from the golden era of TPOK Jazz. It features exhilarating guitar riffs by Franco as well as superb vocals by Franco and Josky Kiambukuta.' -musica

'The delivery of Josky Kiambukuta is simply amazing. As always his singing is agile and full of elegancy. He complements the work of the Grand Master very well. With him in the lead the other singers feel super confident in their singing.' -James Mlangwa

Oko landa ngai mpo na nini?
Okanisi ngai nako zongisa yo libala?
Ngai na kangaki yo na mobali
Ba famille na yo ba bondelaki te.
Ngai na beti libaku mabe boye,
Ngai na bandi la vie mabe boye x2

Why are you following me?
Do you think I will return to the marriage?
I caught you with a man
Your family did not ask for.
I had a difficult obstacle,
I started to have a bad life x2

Elongi na ngai ekomi soni soni,
Na miso ya bato.
Bebo na ngai ekomi ko tuta-O
Na zuwa-O.

My face is filled with shame, shame
In the eyes of people;
My body is filled 
with jealousy.

Kombo na ngai ekoma buku ba mbanda na ngai ba tangaka
Mobulu nyoso osalaka
Ba minyolaka ngai monoko-O

My name has become a book that my enemies/rivals read,
All the trouble you create,
Makes them talk about me.

Ngai na beti libaku mabe boye,
Ngai na banda la vie mabe boye.

I had a difficult obstacle,
My life started to become bad.

Soki omoni ngai na ye,
Ko landa te mobulu pamba.

If you see me with her,
Don’t follow and create trouble.

Soki omoni ngai na ye,
Ko landa te mangungu pamba;

If you see me with her,
Don’t follow with threats;

Soki omoni ngai na ye, ko landaka te,
Soki omoni ngai na ye, ko kipaka te,
Ata omoni ngai to bimi,
Ko landaka te.

If you see me with her, don’t follow us,
If you see me with her, don’t mind us,
Even if you see us going out,
Don’t follow us.

Tokoma ba camarade pamba-ee
Ki mwasi na mobali esila kala-ee x2

We have become only friends,
We are no longer a couple. x2

Franco’s solo
Soki omona ngai naye,
Ko landa te mangungu pamba;
Soki omoni ngai na ye,
Ko landaka te libala esila kala-ee

If you see me with her,
Don’t follow us with threats;
If you see me with her,
Don’t follow us, our marriage ended long ago.

Josky’s solo
Soki omona ngai naye,
Ko lenga lenga pamba te;
Soki omona ngai naye,
Ko landaka te libala ekufa kala.

If you see me with her,
Don’t panic;
If you see me with her,
Don’t follow, 
Our marriage died long ago.

Josky 2nd solo
Soki omona ngai naye,
Ko tuna tuna pamba te;
Soki omona ngai naye,
Ko landaka te, libala embura kala.

If you see me with her,
Don’t ask anything;
If you see me with her,
Don’t follow, 
Our marriage ended long ago.

Tokoma ba camarade pamba eh, eh eh
Ki mwasi na mobali esila kala eh, eh eh
Tokoma ba camarade pamba eh, eh eh
Ki mwasi na mobali esila kala eh, eh eh

We are just friends
We are no longer a couple
We are just friends
We seperated long time ago

1. Tokoma Ba Camarade Pamba 11:32
2. Arzoni 9:48
3. Tokabola Sentiment 12:32
4. Lokobo 12:44
5. Peuch Del Sol 12:13
6. Ndaya 8:30

South Africa

South African Mgqashiyo Queens accompanied by the Mkhona Zonke Band. JIVE CLASSIC!

'Recorded in 1977 with a new vocal group and a new groaner, Robert "Mbazo" Mkhize (to replace Mahlathini). Izibani Zomgqashiyo was a commercial failure. This is a different line-up to the classic one, because many of the original members had taken a break to focus on their families etc. They were reunited in the 80s again which led to their world-wide popularity.'

'Associated in an earlier incarnation with Mahlathini, a woman-group trademark gets the billing on this 1977 album, but various kings get the good parts, groaning or just singing lead calls or embellished responses on every one of these reported hits. This is mbaqanga at its catchiest. The structures are varied just enough to keep you on your toes, and the beat is indomitably alive.' -Robert Christgau

Zibuyile Nonyaka
The bouncy album opener “Zibuyile Nonyaka” (“Return Year”) proudly states that these girls are back and they mean business. It’s like they’ve never been away. The mix up of all sorts of male and female vocal tones is a key feature of the set, and this is apparent from the off. The deep-voiced male, who I take to be Mbazo, is every bit the equal of the great Mahlathini. For me, only the Sex Pistols and Kraftwerk made better albums in '77. -The Jukebox Rebel

Uthuli Lwezichwe
“Uthuli Lwezichwe” (“Dance Up A Dust Storm”) seems celebratory and oozes soul, not a bit diffused by the high energy dance-able nature of the track. This was, in effect, gospel for the townships. --The Jukebox Rebel

Ziyatshitshimba Izintombi
“Ziyatshitshimba Izintombi” has so much going on vocally and harmoniously that it’s completely impossible not to carried away in the sheer brilliance of this whole sound. Exhilaration is the word I think I’m looking for. 11 years on from their debut LP and the Mahotella Queens are flying high. -The Jukebox Rebel

1. Zibuyile Nonyaka 3:38
2. Yadilika Intaba 2:54
3. Asambe Mntakamama 3:03
4. Uthuli Lwezichwe 2:41
5. Bekumnandi 2:32
6. Demazana 2:29
7. Ziyatshitsimba Izintombi 2:47
8. Vuka Uzibuke 2:46
9. Siqhamuka Kwazulu 2:53
10. Xola Mama 2:36
11. Ifa Lenkosana 2:51
12. Asambeni Bafana 2:45

Nigeria

'The MASTERPIECE of Igbo Traditional MUSIC... Great listening and dancing PLEASURE...'

Beautiful, deep highlife from Nigeria, 1984, mellow, laidback.., groovy!

Osondi owendi. What is cherished by some is despised by others. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. Different strokes for different folks. To each their own. Osondi owendi.

It’s a conventional aphorism in the Igbo language but if you utter the word “osondi owendi” in Nigeria today, the first thing that comes to anybody’s mind is the cucumber-cool highlife music maestro Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe and his legendary album that takes its name from the adage. Released in 1984, Osondi Owendi was instantly received as Osadebe’s magnum opus, the crowning event of an exalted career stretching back to the early years of highlife’s emergence as Nigeria’s predominant popular music.

Stephen Osadebe first appeared on the music scene in 1958 as a spry, twenty-two year-old vocalist in the Empire Rhythm Skies Orchestra, directed by bandleader Steven Amechi. With his dapper suits, urbane Nat King Cole-influenced vocal stylings and jaunty, uptempo, calypso-scented dance tunes, he personified the frisky spirit and anxious aspirations of a young, educated generation that had come of age in the wake of the Second World War, in a Nigeria that was rapidly shaking off British colonization and marching towards an independent future. 1959 would be the year that he truly made his mark in the business with his debut solo single “Lagos Life Na So So Enjoyment.” A giddy exhortation of the music, sex, fun and freedom availed by life in the big city, the song became a sensation and an anthem, and Stephen Osadebe became the leader of his own popular dance band, the Nigerian Sound Makers.

Osadebe would ride this wave of acclaim through most of the nineteen sixties, but a change in direction would be called for at the dawn of the seventies. As Nigeria emerged from a devastating civil war, so did a new generation of youth inspired by rock and funk, confrontational sounds reflective of a more violent, less idealistic era. All of the sudden, the idioms of the post-WWII dance orchestras that nurtured Osadebe’s cohort seemed quaint, the stuff of nostalgia. Osadebe needed to evolve to respond to the new tumultuous, turned-up times.

His response? He cooled it down.

Abetted by a new crop of fire-blooded young players, Osadebe slowed his music to a mellow, meditative tempo, brought forward the lumbering, Afro Cuban-accented bass and percussion, from the rockers he borrowed searing lead lines on the electric guitar. Over this musical bedrock, doesn’t so much as sing as he dreamily muses, coos, sighs aphorisms, words of wisdom and inspiration. “When one listens to my music, all I say appears meaningful,” Osadebe explained his lyrical approach, “at times they are in the form of proverbs which provoke much thought afterwards.” The result is a blend that is both rollicking and soothingly languid. Osadebe christened the style Oyolima—a tranquil, otherworldly state of total relaxation and pleasure. Osondi Owendi represents oyolima at its finest, and possibly Nigerian highlife in epitome.

Osondi owendi. What is cherished by some is despised by others. In some way, the album’s title constitutes a paradox. Because Osondi Owendi is a record that it’s almost impossible to imagine being despised by anybody.

Uchenna Ikonne
June 2019

1. Osondi Owendi / Ndida Kanma 18:57
2. Nigeria Kanyi Jikota 18:34

Jamaica


Rare JACKIE MITTOO Showcase VG+ / VG+ Original US STUDIO ONE LP SOLP-0130 - 1980

'Yo Studio One, let's get with a reissue already! Dang' -fivekidstofeed  March 10, 2017

'This is my fave J M lp its a disco style and the dubs are great. Midnight in Ethiopia is sublime.' -germaneagle

'Jackie Mittoo's keyboards and compositions hve been a vital part of some of the greatest groups in Jamaica's Reggae history and in recent years has stepped out on his own to show the music scene that he is a leader to be reckoned with.

Jackie's new album showcases his unique compostions and arrangements as well as his consumate skill on acoustic, electric piano, synthesizer and Hammond organ.

The groove sophisticated but roots is yet another maka production out of the studio One Stable, where we come fe mash up the eighties and so on.' -Liner Notes

M. Stowe

Jackie Mittoo ‎– Showcase
Label: Studio One ‎– SOLP-0130
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Land: US
Published: 1980
Style: Reggae, Soul-Jazz

A1 Lovers Rock 7:23
A2 Wall Street 7:09
A3 No Woman No Cry 5:25
B1 Night In Ethiopia 7:13
B2 Oboe 9:27
B3 Rang Man 5:20

Notes
Recorded At – Jamaica Recording Studio

Personnel
Bass – Earl (Baga) Walker
Design [Cover], Graphics – O'Neil Nanco
Drums – Leroy (Horsemouth) Wallace
Guitar – Ernest Ranglin
Keyboards – Pablov Black
Liner Notes – M. Stowe
Piano, Electric Piano, Synthesizer, Organ, Arranged By – Jackie Mittoo
Producer – C.S. Dodd

USA

Even more beautiful than I expected. On heavy rotation. -Sailor Dog

'A second collection of recordings by Sun Ra & His Arkestra featuring legendary tenor saxophonist John Gilmore (1931–1995). The recordings date from the late 1950s and early 1960s, and were recorded in Chicago and New York.'

John Gilmore (bottom right) with the Sun Ra Arkestra, 1955 (Sunny in light colored jacket behind Gilmore)
'John Gilmore's decision to play almost exclusively within the realm of Sun Ra's Arkestra long frustrated jazz observers who felt that he could have made a bigger impact if he had had a solo career. Gilmore grew up in Chicago and after a stint in the Army (1948-1952), he worked with Earl Hines (1952). In 1953, he joined Ra and 40 years later, when the bandleader died, Gilmore was still there. His playing in the 1950s was an influence on the developing John Coltrane and Gilmore, who teamed up with Clifford Jordan for a 1957 Blue Note session, did spend 1964-1965 with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. However, other than a few sideman recordings in the 1960s (including with Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Andrew Hill, and Pete LaRoca), Gilmore stuck with Ra, being well-featured both on hard bop and free-form material. He briefly headed the Arkestra after Ra's death.' -Artist Biography by Scott Yanow

(left) John Gilmore / (right) Sun Ra
REMEMBERING JOHN GILMORE

John Gilmore was born in Mississippi………..amongst his peers also born in Mississippi are Charles Davis and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. John was raised in Chicago, and began plying the clarinet at 14 years of age. John attended the reknown Du Sable High School…….joining an incredible list of Jazz greats who studied at Du Sable and were nurtured under the tutelage of Captain Water Dyett., the legendary music educator who taught there for 30 years.

The list of Captain Dyetts students reads like a who’s who of jazz greats including such iconic Jazz masters as Nat King Cole, Johnny Griffin, Clifford Jordan, Pat Patrick, Sarah Vaughn, Von Freeman, and Dinah Washington; just to name a few.

John’s classmate Pat Patrick was already rehearsing regularly and playing gigs with then Sonny Blount AKA Sonny Lee (who would evolve into Sun Ra) while still a student a Du Sable.

After graduating from Du Sable John went and joined the United States Air force as a clarinettist fro 1948 to 1953.

Returning to Chicago John began playing the Tenor saxophone and quickly started to build quite a reputation around Chicago as a swinging bopping player. In no time John was playing with the great pianist Earl ‘Fatha ‘Hines

Then one day in 1953 Pat couldn’t make a Ra rehearsal and sent John Gilmore.

This meeting with Sun Ra was to change Gilmores life. On one hand, Sun Ra had found someone whose interpretation of his material was exactly in the intended spirit of the work.

Someone with discipline and loyalty who was in search for an alter-destiny an approach to living beyond the materialistic approach and hedonistic lifestyles adopted by many a creative artist in Western society.

Someone who recognized and celebrated the existence of Sun Ra as an emissary from the beings of worlds beyond………a living reincarnation of the great Pharaonic royalty of Ancient Egypt who descended from Nubia.

The land of Blacks. Forced into exile by the Romans then captured and sold as slaves out of West Africa…..these descendants of the Ancient Egyptians who built the White House, finished the designs for the District of Columbia, provided the labor of the slave trade which provided the foundation of the economic institutions of the United States .and created Jazz.

In Sun Ra, John found a teacher, mentor and friend whose knowledge ,skills and creativity were filled with consciousness and spirit from beyond this Planet. . John was constantly challenged and astounded was by Sun Ra’s scholastic knowledge and perspective as well as being awed by Sonny’s mystic powers.

But the greatest impression on Gilmore was Sonny’s music………

’this cat played intervals more stretched out than MONK’ ‘I decided this was where I wold stay’

John would exclaim during a filmed interview some years later. While many musicians of that era were put off in varying degrees by Sun Ra’s use of inversions and added and/or altered chord tones…John and other sycophants like Hobart Dobson, Charles Davis and Pat Patrick, Ronald Wilson, and the great trumpeter Walter Williams (who rose to prominence with Ray Charles orchestra) found the RA approach refreshing and challenging.

And Sun Ra had found someone whose interpretation of his material was exactly in the intended spirit of the work ‘ Play it like John’ Sonny would instruct us.

After that fated rehearsal ……..John would dedicate the remainder of his years on planet Earth to the study of the music and cosmology of Sun Ra. Sonny’s disciplines for Arkestra members being of small challenge to the rather monastic and singular devotion to music and exclusive commitment to Sun Ra John would develop and maintain the rest of his life.

Part of Sun Ra;s ‘discipline’ was to commit yourself exclusively to Sun Ras music. Forsaking other gigs and bands……but the practical reality of survival and the need for money in ones pockets had most members quietly accepting other jobs, trying to make sure Sonny didn’t know or find out. ( you did not want Sun Ra to be pissed at you)

Sonny had a wire into what was happening around and would choose to comment, reprimand or just ignore the fact that his musicians would work elsewhere.

‘Often however if sunny knew you were going out on another gig….. (you never told Sunny THAT) he may devilishly find some impossible task for you to complete before going out. Occasionally he would choose to comment or even cuss you out about it.

‘ A little bird told me you were playing at Birdland last weekend when you missed my rehearsal’

For all his unquestionable loyalty Gilmore would get away to do his thing with a jazz community which held him in extremely high regard.

Recorded an excellent album as co-leader with Clifford Jordan in 1957 entitled ‘Blowing from Chicago’

And even leaving Sun Ra for a year to go out and work with Art Blakey for a year (1965-66)

John would also slip off and work with Olutunji, Charles Mingus and various other bands…….. for the large part maintaining a low profile so Sunny didn’t find out or if he did …………..at least much later.

John was not a talkative or extroverted person at all. Maintaining a high level of privacy. His closest buddy in the band was Thomas ‘Bugs ’Hunter… the drummer/photographer and recording engineer for Sun Ra who with Pat Patrick and Walter Miller also started playing with Sun Ra as a teenager. John would occasional engage in a card game called ‘tonk’ with Arkestra members. They would wager and the obligation of the winner of the ‘pot’ was required to show up the next day or so with something he bought from his earnings from the game. John was a frequent winner. And a dapper dresser……now we know why….as the code prevented him from banking his earnings from the Tonk games.

This activity along with chess was the large extend of his hanging out with the ‘fellas’.

John was an excellent Chess player and would often play with Bugs and other high level players who would come through the band for a time.

I recall having the nerve to play John one chess game and he beat me in about 3 moves. I never bothered to waste his time at the chess board again. But I would watch him and bugs play.

Those of us who knew John understood and respected the fact that John was Sun Ra’s #1 disciple. This may be because he was the most suited in his demeanour and approach to life. He lived a hermit’s existence staying in his room practicing only coming out to rehearse with Sunny or eat.

Sun Ra ,himself, was the only person Ive ever knew who was as or more disciplined than John.

John was the quietist, most humble person you could ever meet. A sweet man of iron. He would offer small advice or council if queried, his reply being concise and to the point………………..Do not ask him for money but if you did .he would give it to you and you better pay him back. But If the whole band was broke. John had money…… why?

Because he never spent any except for Dunhill cigarettes. This was the only brand he smoked and they were so expensive I’ve never seen anyone ask him for a cigarette, (LOL)

John was a miser of the highest ilk, other than a small article every now and then and his regimen of herbs and teas and remedies. John did not spend money, he saved every nickel and dime. John was by nature quite generous. But the awe in which we held him kept us from disturbing his personal serenity even in emergencies. But he was always there to provide economic support for the Arkestra when emergencies or difficulties developed…. especially in the years after Sunny departed.

Sun Ra explained to us that John was also a hypochondriac….always talking about having to purify the toxins out of his body. John was in an intense and consistent battle against Mucous, Phlegm Worms and chemicals from foods (preservatives and insecticides), and the environment.

He would consistently seek and utilize remedies to purge his system. New treatments and potions advertised or spread by word of mouth would get his attention and he would be the first to try it. When he felt like talking if you asked him how he was feeling….THEN he would give a rather lengthy description of the results of trying the latest remedy he acquired for his migraine headaches, or back problems or digestive difficulties and on and on.

Johns personal innovative approach to improvisation became a cornerstone of John Coltranes musical journey. At a local jam session Gilmore took an alternate approach in negotiating his improvisation during a real fast number actually playing counter to or even against the rhythm section. Coltrane burst from the crowd yelling that’s it that’s it …….. amazed at how Gilmore would use the rhythm and time to structure his thematically based improvisations. Coltrane would later visit with Sun Ra and spend some with Gilmore…………….John showed Coltrane some intervallic exercises and rhythmic articulations that revolutionized His approach…………………coupled with the information’s and enlightenments given to him by Sun Ra Coltrane embarked on a new spiritual and musical course which began with A Love Supreme…………..when questioned about his change of life and music john Coltrane readily attested to the epiphany he experienced through John Gilmore and Sun Ra.

As for Gilmore……watching Coltrane literally become the god of the tenor sax after taking lessons with him……never taught again. I used to beg Gilmore for lessons and his reply was always the same……he didn’t teach anymore. Being in the Ra house and listening to him practice was dam near a lesson anyway so I consider myself truly blessed. John ha the highest respect for Coltrane and loved Sonny Rollins as well The scientific approach John took to the development of his improvisations was always rooted and filled with a spirit of immense intensity. He was truly a tone Scientist.

When Sun Ra decided to resurrect the spirit of Fletcher Henderson by rearing and performing it was John who would conjure the tenors of Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster and the clarinettist Buster Bailey articulating their classic improvisations ‘ exacta Mo’ as Sun Ra would transcribe their solos from the original recordings for John to recreate.

To this very day the name John Gilmore represents the highest level of Arkestral participation as well as musical genius and discipline.

His role in the Arkestra as Sun Ra’s principal soloist rivals the importance of Lester Young with the Basie band, Charlie Parker with Jay McShann , Stan Getz with Woody Herman, Illinois Jacquet/Arnett cobb with Lionel Hamptons , Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins with Fletcher Henderson Band, Paul Gonzales/jimmy Hamilton with the Duke Ellington orchestra and was at least as close as Charlie Rouse with Thelonious Monk.

Johns first love was Music…….living in the Ra House and hearing John practice over the course of 10 or so years………….I would hear John begin playing long tones on his clarinet about 6 am…….this would go on for an hour or two. THEN he would do a mirage of scales, arpeggios and classical etudes we are now at about 3 to 4 hours…………..then he would start all over again playing long tones on the Tenor and repeat the same procedure he did on the clarinet. Then he might go back to the clarinet.

Late at night I would hear his keys clicking as he practiced silently in the wee hours of the morns fresh due, you could hear him faintly playing drum paradiddles and rhythmic articulations on his practice drum pad.

I believe john took a special affinity to me..as for all my natural talent…….. my musical fundamentals were not as rock solid as other serious players when I joined the Arkestra….i distinctly hearing John practice the four basic chords say the two days before a gig….then during the gig he would build a basically structured solo using those chords .i would practice those chords and try to duplicate the gist of his constructions in my own solos. This would go on for a time. Then I would hear him do something more complex the next time. Again I would practice that technique and incorporate that into my own solos. As John would hear me grasp the musical ideas he was subtly imparting to me ( playing them in my solos)………..he would then develop those ideas further. Sometimes it would be certain classic bebop phraseology…….one time I was soloing and was finally able to negotiate a particular classic bebop phrase that John would use frequently. And I heard him shout …….. YEAH! This to date is one of my most cherished encouragements…as John rarely exclaimed about anything When John actually made a vocalization about or doing your solo…you were REALLY playing.

Notwithstanding,…….. sitting between John and Marshall continually awed by the inner and outer worldly depth of their instrumental mastery and incredible volumes of creativity on as Sun Ra;s right and left hands…………I wanted to quit every night.

So, this went on for seven or eight months of rehearsing and touring constantly. And John was gradually making his solos more and more complex. Seemingly in relation to the progress I was making. Then about a year later one day I heard John practicing upstairs as I approached the Ra house I came in……….. he stopped. Later that summer at the Birmingham Jazz festival I hear John in his fullest glory superimposing motifs and figures from an alternate progression of chords over the ones Sun Ra was playing then going back and forth between improvising on the basic chords for two or four bars the modulating to his superimposition chords for the nest couple of bars then going back again …….

I was now on my own .

That was the greatest compliment I could of ever received

And the greatest lesson……

..if you want to learn…..Just listen …Just listen

the take what you’ve heard and develop it into your own self expression

and create your own method of practice.

Johns last words to me were so encouraging…….he was unselfish, unassuming and totally positive and as a brother could be. Others will speak of his pinnacle role in the development of saxophone improvisation…launching Coltrane into new directions

I remember John Gilmore as an inspiration, an example of excellence, discipline, dedication and loyalty…unselfish human kindness. Humility and brotherly love. Asceticism and self sacrifice.

I remember John Gilmore as a gentleman and a noble giant of Jazz.

KNOEL SCOTT LONDON 3/15/2017

1. Somewhere in Space 3:01
2. Dreams Come True 3:50
3. I Loves You Porgy 3:30
4. Easy to Love 3:28
5. Space Aura #1 3:11
6. Possession 4:56
7. Blues at Midnight 6:35
8. Just in Time 3:52
9. Distant Stars 2:57
10. Motherhood 5:03
11. Velvet 3:23
12. Chicago, Southside 6:37
13. Wanderlust 5:47
14. Blues from Saturn 4:31
15. Body and Soul 5:55
16. Keep Your Sunny Side Up 3:36

Notes
Compiled by Michael D. Anderson of the Sun Ra Music Archive

Sources: 
tracks 1, 5: Interstellar Low Ways 
tracks 2, 7, 10, 14: posthumously issued 
tracks 3, 15: Holiday for Soul Dance 
tracks 4, 16: The Invisible Shield 
track 6: Jazz by Sun Ra 
track 8: Bad and Beautiful 
track 9: Fate in a Pleasant Mood 
track 11: Jazz in Silhouette 
track 12: Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow 
track 13: What's New (Sub Underground #2)

Archive