Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Barry Miles - Scatbird

Barry Miles - Scatbird
Scatbird" was released in 1972. Barry Miles known in some circles as “The Father of Fusion” created on this release an early true fusion statement very much representative of the music movement he developed under the name of "Syncretic Music" between 1964 and 1965, which became a chilling influence for many artists of the 70’s such as Return To Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Al DiMeola who made Miles an interactive part of his band for many years. This release was one of the pioneers of the Fusion movement that would follow. A couple of tracks "Scatbird" and "Latina" feature Miles vocalizing scatting wordlessly along with his keyboards, kind of allusive to the album title, but the real gems on this album are the fusion tracks "Suburban Shuffle", "Life-Cycle", "Arrows and Eagles" (sampled here) and "Skeleton Dance", which feature Miles at his best and a very young explosive drummer Terry Silverlight (Miles’ younger brother), who apparently was only 14 at the time of this recording. Musicians are: Barry Miles on keyboards, John Abercrombie on guitar, Frank Tusa on bass and Terry Silverlight on drums.

Track Listing:
1. Scatbird
2. Suburban Shuffle
3. Lyfe-Cycle
4. Arrows and Eagles (sampled here)
5. Skeleton Dance
6. Latina
7. First Love

Scatbird - Barry Miles

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Barry Miles - Fusion Is

In spite of its title, “Fusion Is”, released in 1979, is not as ‘fusionish” as its predecessors. Instead it is a bit mellower. But don’t underestimate the power of Miles playing. This is still a superb album full of fierce moments, but Miles incorporates more acoustic piano than before providing a different tone to these great compositions. Tracks "Tandoori" and "Country" remain truthful to Miles past fusion releases, while "Fllow Me", "Sunrise" and "Streams" are more acoustic, even incorporating acoustic guitar, kind of reminiscence of Return to Forever ‘s acoustic tracks. The album closes with the amazing be-bopish "Routes" containing great soloing from guitarist Vic Juris. Terry Silverlight’s drumming is as good as ever. Musicians are: Barry Miles on keyboards, drums and Vibraphone, Terry Silverlight on drums, John Burr on bass and Vic Juris on guitar.

Track Listing:
1. Tandoori
2. Follow Me
3. Country
4. Sunrise
5. Streams
6. Routes (sampled above)
But it at Amazon or Fusion Is…. - Barry Miles

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Barry Miles & Co. - Sky Train

Barry Miles - Sky Train
Sky Train” was released in 1977. This time Miles Fusion sound gets an uplift from the use of a full horn section, which complements Miles superb soloing on both the Moog synthesizer and on the Fender Rhodes electric piano. Miles also implements the clavinet on this release. Terry Silverlight’s drumming is explosive as it seems to be influenced by drummer Billy Cobham’s style. As with other Miles releases there’s a diverse set of compositional styles ranging from the superb Fusion tracks like “Sky Train” and “The Big A” to the amazing more be-bop oriented “Relay” ending with the incredibly crafted suite “Cityscape”. Personnel are: Barry Miles on piano, drums, keyboards and vibraphone, Terry Silverlight (his youngest brother) on drums, Vic Juris and Jeff Mironov on guitar, Anthony Jackson on electric bass, Eddie Gomez on acoustic bass, Rubens Bassini and Crusher Bennett percussion, Eric Kloss on alto sax, a brass section consisting of Randy Brecker, Tom Harrell, Burt Collins, Joe Shepley on trumpets, Tony Studd, Sam Burtis, David Taylor and Tom "Bones" Malone on trombones, Toni Price on tuba, Brooks Tillotson and James Buffington on french horn, Phil Woods as conductor. Finally this album was released in July 2009 thanks to the hard work of preservation by Wounded Bird Records.

Track Listing:
1. Sky Train (sampled above)
2. Old Man Jack
3. Relay
4. This Is Our Night
5. The Big A
6. A Waltz for You
7. Cityscape (The Fusion Suite)
Buy Sky Train at Amazon or Sky Train - Barry Miles

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Barry Miles' Silverlight - Magic Theater

Barry Miles has been called "The Founder of Fusion Music", as he was developing the concept under the name of "Syncretic Music" between 1964 and 1965. His Fusion concept became a chilling influence for many artists of the 70’s such as Chick Corea and Al DiMeola who made Miles an interactive part of his band and recordings for many years. “Magic Theater” was released in July 1976. His astonishing soloing on the Moog and Fender Rhodes, combined with Terry Silverlight's (his younger brother) dynamic drumming make up a real dynamic duo, which became a unique sound. This album is a real explosive Fusion statement of the best kind. Musicians are: Barry Miles on drums, keyboards and vibraphone, Terry Silverlight on drums, Jeff Mironov and Bob Mann on guitar, Louis del Gatto on saxophone, Randy Brecker and Alan Rubin on trumpet and David Taylor and Michael Gibson trombone. “Magic Theater” has never seen the light of day on CD. Perhaps someone can shed the light, leave a comment and lead us to the vinyl.

Track Listing:
1. Rebate
2. Battle (sampled here)
3. Stargaze
4. Down to Mirth
5. Finger Ring
6. I've Touched Your Soul
7. Magic Theater

Monday, March 22, 2010

Barry Miles and Silverlight

Barry Miles began playing drums and piano at a very young age. As a teenager, he studied classical piano and soon switched instruments. His credits as a sidemen musician are countless but he’s probably most recognized for being called "The Founder of Fusion Music", as he was developing the concept under the name of "Syncretic Music" between 1964 and 1965. His Fusion concept became a chilling influence for many artists of the 70’s such as Return To Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Al DiMeola who made Miles an interactive part of his band for many years. Miles leaned heavily towards fusion as he led his own band for a few years but he didn’t live up to the great expectations of an overly well known jazz improviser. Nonetheless his solo records are testament of his amazing playing and his great compositional skills. He improvises with impeccable timing and precision. “Barry Miles and Silverlight” was released in 1974 and it is classic 70’s fusion, although several tracks venture into other musical styles, including some singing, which distract from the amazing fusion classics. Personnel are: Barry Miles on piano, Terry Silverlight on drums, Harvie Swartz on bass and Bill Washer on guitar. This album has never been released on CD, so perhaps somebody might want to leave a comment instructing where to get a hold of the vinyl.

Track Listing:
1. Buck Rogers
2. Cat
3. Loved You So Long
4. Gypsy Dance (sampled above)
5. Top Belle
6. Big Mack
7. Time and Space
8. Los Viajeros (The Travelers)
9. Sweet Love and Devotion
10. Silver Lightning

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mingo Lewis - Flight Never Ending

Mingo Lewis - Flight
Legendary Bay Area progressive jazz percussionist Mingo Lewis began performing with Santana in his teens. Lewis also worked with artists such as Al DiMeola, Chick Corea and Return to Forever, David Byrne, Jan Hammer and The Tubes. Many people got a first glance at Lewis’ extraordinary musicianship through Al DiMeola’s debut album from 1976 “Land of the Midnight Sun” where Lewis contributed one of the most memorable compositions, the opening track “The Wizard” (1st sample below), which has become a DiMeola classic. Lewis' debut album was also originally released in 1976 and it also contains a version of “The Wizard” (2nd sample below). DiMeola’s version of “The Wizard” is melodically stronger, which perhaps suggest that DiMeola might have heard Lewis’ version prior to him releasing his debut album. Nonetheless "Flight Never Ending" is classic 70's fusion much in the style of Return to Forever & Al DiMeola. The music combines the primitive Afro-Cuban rhythms with the newest dimension in progressive rock at the time. It only took 30 years for this recording to appear on CD as it was finally superbly digitally remastered in 2007. Musicians include: Mingo Lewis on percussion and keyboards, David Logeman on drums, Eric McCann on bass, Randy Sellgren on guitar, Michael Kapitan and Kincaid Miller on keyboards, and A. Louis Bramey on hand bells.

Track Listing:
1. Abacua
2. Frankincense
3. Heartsong
4. Wizard (2nd sample above)
5. Visions of Another Time
6. Trapezoid
7. Maginary Monsters
8. Flight Never Ending

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Void (featuring Troy Roberts)

Void feat Troy Roberts
Troy Roberts’ amazing ascending career Troy also sustained a fruitful 3-year residency at The Llama Bar (Perth, West Australia) with his original project, "Void" (Winner’s of the PJS’s “Best Original Jazz Act Award” for 2005, and the “2007 West Australian Music Industry Award”). Void’s debut album was released on XenDen Music, the label owned by one Roberts’ closest friends, the late Alan Corbet (1964–2008). The result is a funk-based jazzy locomotive full speed ahead in a collision course with great compositions, virtuoso performances and an amazing integration within the group. Roberts’ unique voice and beautiful tone is complemented by the fierce finesse of the other members of the group. Although the mixing is a bit amateur and in a few instances the production could have incorporated more instrumentation, this release leaves the listener lingering with a feeling of having experienced something unique and expecting a new release. Personnel are: Troy Roberts on saxophones, Tom O'Halloran on keyboards, Dave Alderson on bass and Andrew Fisenden on drums.

Track Listing:
1. Intro: Say What? (sampled above)
2. London
3. Travel Bug
4. Conzuela
5. The Break-In
6. The 80's Cop Show
7. Interlude: The Eclipse
8. J-Lag
9. The Homecoming Song
10. Say When
11. In the Soul-jive
12. Finale: The Llama

Buy VOID it at CD Baby or

Monday, March 15, 2010

Troy Roberts Double Quartet - The XenDen Suite

Troy Roberts the Xen Suite
Troy Roberts began playing saxophone at the age of 13 and his ascending career has been a productive one comprised of scholarships, honors, degrees, awards and extensive touring with some amazing musicians, but his beautiful tone, his amazing performances and his composing abilities are what ultimately reunite all these elements to put his talent in the forefront of the Jazz scene. His latest production is proof of that. The XenDen Suite is Troy Roberts’ dedication to celebrating the life of one of his closest friends, the late Alan Corbet (1964–2008), who was an amazing man with incredible vision and a driving force of the West Australian Jazz scene. Corbet created a label, XenDen Music, specifically designed for original and independent musicians. This suite is a fully extended performance in its entirety. Once you start listening to the warm and melancholic Part 1, the rest of the pieces fall into place as one. One can feel the sensitivity and longing for a lost friend through the creative yet fierce compositions and the performances, which display a kind of virtuosity rare to the jazz circles these days. The addition of a string quartet to conform this double quartet creates a texture not seen since the days of Chick Corea’s works for piano and strings, marvelously achieved by the grace of the arrangements. Personnel are: Troy Roberts on saxophones, Tom O'Halloran on piano, Peter Jeavons on bass, Daniel Susnjar on drums, Semra Lee and Stephanie Dean on violins, Alex Brogan on viola, Matthew Hoy on cello, Alex Millier on bass clarinet, Gary Keller on flute, alto flute and Libby Hammer on voice.

Track Listing:
1. Part 1: Tebrocnala
2. Part 2: Freebie (sampled above)
3. Part 3: Feb 19
4. Part 4: Memorialization
5. Part 5: Villa
6. Part 6: The Scotsman's Waltz
7. Part 7: La Brecaton Minute
8. Part 8: Finale
Buy it at CD Babyor

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Troy Roberts - Soul Garbage

Troy Roberts Soul Garbage
These days it is rare to find a new talent that shakes your inner music core but Australian saxophonist Troy Roberts does just that. His amazing playing, his beautiful tone and his incredible phrasing are coupled with his talent for writing fresh and exiting new compositions. You can hear traces of all his jazz influences brought together by the fierce power of his unique voice. His compositions are a balancing act between jazz-funk and standard-type genres. In this recording we find a heavier emphasis on straight ahead jazz with a tinge of funk. James Morrison writes on the CD liner notes: “Whilst it’s not common to display virtuosity, it’s even rarer to be wonderfully creative while doing so. But the rarest of all gifts is to have a unique voice; a sound that is unmistakably your own, Troy Roberts has that gift. On this recording he amply demonstrates that it’s possible to pay homage to the great tenor players of jazz and still create a fresh approach that leaves the listener always in anticipation of what he’ll come up with next. Having gathered an inspired group of musicians, written some great music and infused all involved with his determination to make it special. Troy gives us "Soul Garbage", a first recorded look at what will undoubtedly be a musical journey destined to be emulated by those who follow”. Personnel are: Troy Roberts on saxophone, Tom O’Hollaran on Piano, organ and keyboards, Paul Pooley on basses, Andrew Fisenden on drums and James Morrison on trumpet, flugelhorn and trombone.

Track Listing:
1. Soul Garbage
2. Stanley
3. Table Mountain
4. Up To No Good (sampled above)
5. Close To You
6. The 80’s Cop Show
7. Jagged Edge
8. J-Lag
Buy it at CD Baby or

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pages - Pages (3)

Pages released their third and last album simply entitled “Pages” in 1981. Richard Page and Steve George dig even deeper into the pop-rock territory but this time the influence of their work with producer and guitarist Jay Graydon is even stronger. On this release the beautifully crafted songs have reached maturity and this amazing work has established Pages as one of the most prominent exponents of the so called “West Coast” sound. The rhythm arrangements and the instrumental performances are stronger than ever making this production the pinnacle of the group. Personnel are: Richard Page on vocals and keyboards, Steve George on keyboards and backing vocals, Steve Khan, Charles "Icarus" Johnson and Jay Graydon on guitars, Neil Stubenhaus and Abraham Laboriel on bass, Jeff Porcaro, Ralph Humphrey, Vince Colaiuta and Mike Baird on drums, Paulinho Da Costa on percussion, Tom Scott on saxophone and Al Jarreau on vocal effects. Produced by Jay Graydon and Bobby Colomby.

Track Listing:
1. You Need a Hero
2. Tell Me (sampled above)
3. O.C.O.E. (Official Cat of the Eighties)
4. Come on Home
5. Sesatia
6. Only a Dreamer
7. Automatic
8. Fearless
9. Midnight Angel
Buy it at Amazon, CD Japan or

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pages - Future Streets

Pages - Future Streets
Pages second album “Future Streets” was released in 1979. Richard Page and Steve George dig deeper into the pop-rock territory influenced by their experiences working alongside most of the famous musicians of the time such as Al Jarreau and Kenny Loggins. Once again the result consist of beautifully crafted songs enhanced by the amazing work of their studio musician counterparts. Although the so called “West Coast” pop-rock sound is brilliantly portrayed, the rhythm arrangements and the instrumental performances are upgraded a notch to complement these great compositions. Personnel are: Richard Page vocals, bass and keyboards, Steve George on keyboards and vocals, Charles "Icarus" Johnson, Tim May and Joey Trujillo on guitars, Russell Battelene and George Lawrence on drums, Jai Winding on keyboards, Jerry Manfredi on bass, Don Alias and Claudio Slon Percussion, Michael Brecker on saxophone plus the horn section of Jerry Hey (arranger), Chuck Fidley, Lew McCreary, Bill Reichenbach Jr., Larry Williams and background vocals by Kenny Loggins and George Hawkins. Produced by Bobby Colomby.

Track Listing:
1. I Do Believe in You
2. The Sailor's Song
3. Take My Heart Away
4. Future Street
5. Who's Right, Who's Wrong
6. Chemistry (sampled above)
7. Two People
8. Keep on Movin'
Buy it at Amazon, CD Japan or

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pages - Pages

Richard Page and childhood friend from Phoenix, Arizona, Steve George are mostly known as the driving force of Mr. Mister (along with guitarist Steve Farris and drummer Pat Mastelotto) and for their number one hits "Broken Wings" and "Kyrie". But what a lot of people don’t know is that before Mr. Mister there was Pages. George and Page were a team of backup vocalists and songwriters, along with the likes of Bill Champlin (from “Chicago” fame) who provided their services for many artists from Al Jarreau to Kenny Loggins. Pages recorded their first self-titled album in 1978. Pages incorporated one beautifully crafted pop-rock compositions paired with amazing vocals, great musicianship and superb production as one of the best exponents of the so-called "West Coast" genre. Personnel are: Richard Page vocals, bass and keyboards, Steve George on keyboards and vocals, Jeff Porcaro, Michael Baird, Vinnie Colaiuta, Russell Battelene and Ralph Humphrey on drums, Larry Carlton, Jay Graydon, Paul Jackson, Jr., Charles "Icarus" Johnson, Steve Khan and Peter Leinheiser on guitars, Neil Stubenhaus, Abraham Laboriel and Jerry Manfredi on bass, Tom Scott on saxophone, Paulinho Da Costa, Chuck Silverman, Francisco Aguabella, Steve Forman, Tim Downs and Claudio Slon on percussion, Victor Feldman on vibraphone and background vocals by Philip Bailey, Al Jarreau, Bobby Colomby, Donna Fien, Lani Groves, Mary Hylan and Linda Mallah. Produced by Bobby Colomby and Jay Graydon.

Track Listing:
1. Clearly Kim
2. This Is for the Girls
3. Let It Go
4. Listen for the Love
5. Love Dance
6. If I Saw You Again
7. Interlude
8. It's Alright
9. Room at the Top
10. I Get It from You
Buy it at Amazon, CD Japan or

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Richard Page - Shelter Me

Richard Page - Shelter Me
Richard Page is mostly know in the music circles as probably the most sought after background vocalist in the LA studio music scene, during the seventies and eighties due to his excellent vocal skills and a voice, smooth as silk, yet fierce and appealing. But in the consumer music world he is well know as the former member of Mr. Mister, Pages and 3rd Matinee. As a singer and muti-instrumentalist Richard Page teamed up with his childhood friend from Phoenix, Arizona, Steve George in forming their group Pages and later Mr. Mister and they scored two consecutive Hot 100 #1 singles, "Broken Wings" and "Kyrie" before breaking up on September 1990. In 1994 Page became the successor to Kevin Gilbert from the earlier group “Toy Matinee” and re-grouped with Patrick Leonard under the name “3rd Matinee” to release their only amazing album “Meanwhile”. Page is also well-known for his composition skills. His songwriting clients include Kenny Loggins, Madonna, Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Chaka Khan, Donna Summer, Dionne Warwick, The Pointer Sisters, Meat Loaf, Patti LaBelle, Hall & Oates, Bill Champlin, Al Jarreau and many others. “Shelter Me’ was released in 1996 but it remains a strong contemporary release. It finds Page in the solo-driving seat accompanied by great musicians. It’s a natural follow-up to his days with Pages and it offers an array of emotions embedded on beautifully crafted pop-rock compositions paired with amazing performances and superb production. This is real music with real musicians that grows on you with every listen. Personnel are: Richard Page vocals, guitar, keyboard and piano, James Harrah, Michael Thompson and Steve Farris on guitars, Jimmy Johnson and John Pierce on bass, Denny Fongheiser and Jerry Marotta on drums, Luis Conte and Pat Mastelotto on percussion, Kim Bullard on keyboards, Tollak Ollestad on harmonica, Keith Mc Cabe on mandolin, Suzanne Teng on flute, Rick Sailon on violin and background vocals by Steve George, Arnold Mc Culler, Louis Price, Carmen Carter, Cecilia Bullard and Lance Eaton. Mixed by famous recording engineer Elliot Scheiner. Richard Page's website.

Track Listing:
1. The Best Thing
2. My Oxygen
3. Even the Pain
4. Shelter Me (sampled above)
5. Let Me Down Easy
6. A Simple Life
7. Dependence
8. Just to Love You
9. If All Else Fails
10. Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away

Buy it at Amazon or