Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lee Ritenour

Lee Mack "Captain Fingers" Ritenour (born January 11, 1952) is an internationally acclaimed guitarist, recording artist, composer and producer. He began his career at 16 as a session player. He has appeared on over 3000 sessions & recorded 40 solo and collaboration albums. He had a world wide hit with "Is It You" in 1981.

Ritenour holds the distinction of having two of the promotional videos for his songs ("Is It You," and "Mr. Briefcase") being played during MTV's first hour. He is engaged to Japanese singer-songwriter Anri. His music is heavily influenced by Wes Montgomery. Not only has he paid frequent tributes to his hero, his son, born in 1993, is named Wesley.

Ritenour was born January 11, 1952 in Los Angeles, California. He played his first session when he was 16 with the Mamas and the Papas. Nicknamed "Captain Fingers", he was a sought-after session guitarist by the mid-1970s and won Guitar Player Magazines Best Studio Guitarist twice in the 70's. He is noted for playing his red Gibson ES-335 and his Gibson L5 guitars. One of his most notable influences is the pioneering jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery. In 1976, he released his first solo album, First Course. This was followed up by his fusion work Captain Fingers in 1976. Since First Course he has released over 30 albums — the 30th being Rit's House in 2002. One of his most notable works is his pop album (featuring vocalist Eric Tagg) 1981 Rit, which contained chart hits "Is It You," and "Mr. Briefcase." In the 90s, he was one of the founding members of group Fourplay. He was nominated for 17 Grammy's , won one, plus many other Number #1 guitar polls throughout the world.

Throughout his career, Ritenour has experimented with different styles of music. He has often incorporated elements of funk, pop, rock, blues and Brazilian music with jazz (to the dislike of some critics). In the early 1980s, Ritenour was given his own Ibanez signature model guitar, the LR-10. The LR-10 was produced from 1981 to 1987. It can be heard exclusively on his album Rit. Currently, Ritenour plays the Gibsons that he first played in the 1970s (the ES-335 and L5), and now also plays his signature Lee Ritenour Model archtop guitar made by Gibson.

First Course 1976
Gentle Thoughts 1977
Captain Fingers 1977
Sugar Loaf Express (with Eric Gale) 1977
Friendship (Different to 1979 release) 1978
The Captain's Journey 1978
Friendship 1977
Rio 1979
Feel the Night 1979
Rit 1981
Rit, Vol. 2 1982
On the Line 1983
Banded Together 1984
Harlequin (w/Dave Grusin) 1985
On the Line 1985
Earth Run 1986
Portrait 1987
Festival 1988
Color Rit 1989
Stolen Moments 1990
Joyride 1991
Wes Bound 1992
Lee Ritenour and His Gentle Thoughts 1992
Larry & Lee (with Larry Carlton) 1994
Alive in L.A. 1997
This Is Love i.e. 1998
Rit's House 2002
Friendship/The Captain's Journey 2005
Rio/On the Line 2005
Overtime 2005
World of Brazil 2005
Smoke n’ Mirrors 2006

Official Website

Lee Ritenour - Night Rhythms

Larry Carlton

Larry Carlton (born 2 March 1948) is an American jazz, pop, and rock guitarist, dividing his recording time between solo recordings and session appearances with more popular bands. Over his career Carlton has won three Grammys for his performances and compositions, including the theme music for the hit television series, Hill Street Blues (1981). He is also the uncle of singer, songwriter Vanessa Carlton.

Carlton started learning to play guitar when he was six years old, studying under Slim Edwards near his Torrance, CA home. Taking an interest in jazz whilst at high school, his playing style was most influenced by guitarists Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel, and B.B. King. Saxophonist John Coltrane has also made a notable impression on Carlton, and Carlton's live albums have featured cuts from Miles Davis's hallmark Kind of Blue. He is married to Contemporary Christian music artist Michele Pillar.

Gibson produces a signature Larry Carlton model based on Carlton's own 1968 Gibson ES-335, hence his nickname: Mr. 335. His other guitars include an iconic 1951 blackguard Fender Telecaster. He's also played the Gibson Les Paul. Today, Carlton plays Dumble Amplifiers. During the 1970's he often used an MXR Distortion+, MXR DynaComp compressor, Echoplex tape delay, and a Fender Princeton Reverb Amplifier. Carlton also played Valley Arts Guitars for many years; in the early 1990s Valley Arts produced a signed and limited-edition Larry Carlton guitar, a solid-body instrument that was something of a hybrid between a Les Paul and Fender Telecaster. Valley Arts is now part of the Gibson family.

- With A Little Help 1968 Uni
- Singing / Playing 1973 Blue Thumb
- Larry Carlton 1978 Warner Bros. Records
- MR.335 Live In Japan (Japan Only) 1977
- Strikes Twice 1980 Warner Bros. Records
- Sleepwalk 1982 Warner Bros. Records
- Eight Times Up 1982 Warner Bros. Records
- Friends 1983 MCA
- Alone / But Never Alone 1985 MCA
- Last Nite 1986 MCA
- Discovery 1987 MCA
- On Solid Ground 1989 MCA
- Christmas At My House 1989 MCA
- Collection 1990 GRP
- The Best Of Mr.335 1992 Warner Bros. Records
- Kid Gloves 1992 GRP
- Renegade Gentleman GRP 1993
- Larry & Lee 1995 GRP
- The Gift 1996 GRP
- Collection Vol.2 1997 GRP
- Fingerprints 2000 Warner Bros. Records
- No Substitutions 2001 Favored Nations
- Deep Into It 2001 Warner Bros. Records
- Sapphire Blue 2003 JVC Music
- The Very Best of Larry Carlton 2005 GRP
- Firewire 2005 Bluebird

Official Website

Larry Carlton - Night Sweat

Jean Micheal Jarre

Jean-Michel André Jarre (born 24 August 1948) is a French composer, performer and music producer. He is highly regarded as one of the pioneers in the Electronic, Synth Pop, Experimental and New Age genres, as well as the organiser of record-breaking outdoor spectacles of his music, which feature laser displays and fireworks, linking music with the surrounding environment and architecture. Jarre has sold an estimated 80 million albums and singles over his career.

His original artistic name was Jean-Michel Jarre, but around 1991 he dropped the hyphen in the name.

In 1978, his second album Equinoxe was released. Jarre developed his sound, employing more dynamic and rhythmic elements, particularly a greater use of sequencing on basslines. Much of this was achieved using custom equipment developed by his collaborator Michel Geiss. A concert on the Place de la Concorde in Paris in 1979 followed the release. This concert attracted one million people, which was Jarre's first entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest crowd at an outdoor concert.

In October 1981, Jarre was the first Western pop-artist who was granted permission to give concerts in the People's Republic of China. These concerts were the first to feature the Laser harp, one of Jarre's signature electronic instruments. Also during this year, Les Chants Magnétiques (Magnetic Fields - note that the French title is a pun which also means Magnetic Songs, or Magnetic Singing) was released to much acclaim, and was followed by the release of Les Concerts En Chine (The Concerts in China) album in 1982 and is marked as his first live album release, comprising of recordings from his tour of China during 1981. The sounds of the Magnetic Fields album are primarily based in the Fairlight CMI synthesizer, and the album was a huge leap forward in both technical complexity and fidelity.

In 1983, he created the album Musique pour Supermarché (Music for Supermarkets), which had a print run of one single copy. The album was made expressly to voice Jarre's distaste and disregard for the music business. Jarre destroyed all the master records from his studio work, allowed a radio station (Radio Luxembourg) to broadcast the album once and auctioned it, raising £10,000 for French artists. People recorded the album using their tape recorders while it was broadcast on the radio, so they can listen to that album, at a very poor quality though (the radio station was an AM station). Songs from this album were later reworked into future albums.

Oxygene IV

In 1984, Zoolook was released, relying heavily on the sampler capabilities of the Fairlight CMI (which Jarre had been using, albeit on a smaller role, since Magnetic Fields). The album featured many different words and speech, recorded in different languages around the world, to create different sounds and effects. Laurie Anderson provided the vocals for the track "Diva". With its rock music underpinnings, Zoolook resides nicely amongst a mere handful of pop and rock albums (notably Kate Bush's 1982 album The Dreaming, Yello's 1985 Stella, 1984's Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise? by Art of Noise, 1982's Naked Eyes by Naked Eyes, and 1985's How To Be a Zillionaire by ABC) that made intensive and sometimes exhaustive use of the Fairlight. It is perhaps too easy to overlook the lengthy list of live (and much-sought) musicians that also made contributions to Zoolook, giving the album a cinematic scope and breadth, courtesy of Mark A. Fuller.

Jarre recorded the album Rendez-Vous after being inspired by the sounds of the Elka synthesizer, which he employed on the record liberally. It also features his first heavy use of the Moog synthesizer on a studio album. In 1986, NASA and the city of Houston asked him to do a concert to celebrate NASA's 25th anniversary and the city of Houston's 150th anniversary. During that concert, astronaut Ronald McNair was to play the saxophone part of Jarre's piece "Rendez-Vous VI" while in orbit on board the Space Shuttle Challenger. It was to have been the first piece of music recorded in space, for the album. After the Challenger disaster of January 28, 1986 which killed McNair, the piece was recorded with a different saxophonist, retitled "Ron's piece" and the album dedicated to the seven Challenger astronauts. The Houston concert entered the Guinness Book of Records for the audience of over 1.5 million. During the concert, Houston native Kirk Whalum performed Ron McNair's saxophone part on "Ron's Piece". The concert featured giant projections of photographic images and laser patterns onto the buildings of downtown Houston, including a gigantic white screen on the front face of the Texaco Heritage Plaza building, which was under construction at the time. Due to vehicles stopping on the freeway passing the concert venue the freeways had to be closed down for the duration of the concert.

Later in 1986, Jarre performed in his birth city of Lyon as part of the celebrations for Pope John Paul II's visit to the city. The Pope was in attendance and introduced the concert with a good-night blessing (a recording of which forms part of the album Cities In Concert - Houston/Lyon).

Magnetic Fields 2

In 1988 the album Revolutions was released. Jarre, along with guests such as Hank Marvin, the legendary guitarist from The Shadows, performed this album and selected highlights from his discography at an event entitled Destination Docklands in front of 200,000 people (not including the thousands of observers who witnessed the event from outside the official concert gates) in two concerts on October 8 and October 9 1988. The event utilized the industrial backdrop of London's Royal Victoria Docks in the East End. The original show was supposed to be scheduled as a one off on the 24 September 1988, but due to safety issues with both Newham local council and London Fire brigade the license was turned down for the larger event. After Jarre's crews failing to maintain crowd safety, and after several vigorous meetings and negotiations (and Jarre potentially looking for other sites including Tilbury docks and Edinburgh castle to host the event), the application for the license was finally granted, but for two smaller audience capacity shows. Although the shows went ahead, they were not without hiccups. Bad weather had threatened to break Jarre's "Battleship" floating stage from its moorings, risking safety to the crew and also musicians and choirists. Although the original plan was to have Jarre float across the Royal docks it was deemed too unsafe due to the weather and hence was chained to the dockside. Despite this the concerts were well received, although the audience was soaked due to pouring rain and biting winds, but it was deemed a success and many of the British public attending will recall it as a very special and unique experience, including Princess Diana who attended the concert and became a friend and fan of Jarre's music over his career.

One aspect of the show was during the transportation of several large mirror balls (some 4m diameter), which Jarre had commissioned for the show to be hung from the large dockside cranes. Whilst en route to the docks, one of the lorries had lost one of the balls on the roadside. On the same night a satellite was due to enter the Earth's atmosphere from space. A member of the public reported the sighting of a sphere like spacecraft rolling on the road, and hence caused major panic as police feared it was the satellite.

On July 14, 1990 Jarre broke his own record in the Guinness Book of Records again with a concert at La Defense, Paris where 2.5 million people watched Jarre light up the Parisian business district. The album En Attendant Cousteau (Waiting for Cousteau) was also released in this year, and was dedicated to the French sea explorer, Jacques Cousteau.

During early 1991, Jarre started promotion for a concert to take place in the Pyramids of Teotihuacan, Mexico during the great solar eclipse of July 11, 1991. Some sources mention problems with several sponsors and local authorities as the reasons that halted the project.

However, in the documentary Making the Steamroller Fly included in the Oxygene Moscow DVD, Jarre and other collaborators mention that the concert was cancelled due to the fact that one cargo ship containing a specially built, pyramidal stage and other technical equipment sunk during the trip to Mexico, making it impossible for the crew to replace it in time for the concert. Jarre says that his disappointment was such that "he could not cope with Mexican food for two years".

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thin Lizzy - Phil Lynott

Thin Lizzy are an Irish hard rock band who formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1969. The band was originally led by bassist, songwriter and singer Phil Lynott. They are best known for their songs "Whiskey in the Jar", "Jailbreak", "The Boys Are Back in Town" and "Bad Reputation", all major international hits still played regularly on hard rock and classic rock radio stations.
Critic for John Dugan has written that "As the band's creative force, Lynott was a more insightful and intelligent writer than many of his ilk, preferring slice-of-life working-class dramas of love and hate influenced by Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, and virtually all of the Irish literary tradition." Van Morrison was a major influence as revealed in an interview with Phil Lynott in the movie Thin Lizzy the Rocker: A Portrait of Phillip Lynott. American groups Little Feat and Bob Seger also influenced Lizzy.[2] Their music covered much territory (including hints of country and traditional folk music), but is generally classified as traditional hard rock or heavy metal.

Though others had earlier used similar techniques, Thin Lizzy is widely recognised as one of the first hard rock bands to employ double lead guitar harmony (the twin guitar clash) - a technique pioneered by Wishbone Ash in the UK, whilst independently in the USA by Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band. This style was later refined and popularised by bands of the emerging New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden especially. The latter group in particular has praised Thin Lizzy extensively and even covered the song "Massacre" from Lizzy's popular Live and Dangerous album. Examples of this dual guitar harmony technique include "The Boys Are Back in Town" and "Cowboy Song" from Jailbreak. Brian Robertson's unconventional use of the wah-pedal as an extension of the instrument during soloing rather than as a purely rhythmic effect, as described in the Total Accuracy video "Still in Love with the Blues" (featuring Brian Robertson & Stuart Bull), is a distinctive and influential sound.
Lynott is one of the few black men to achieve significant success in hard rock. As well as being a multiracial band, members were drawn from both sides of the Irish border and from both Catholic and Protestant communities.

Origin of the Band Name
The origin of the band name was described by Brian Downey in an interview in the 2007 DVD Live and Dangerous: The band's lead guitarist Eric Bell, who was a fan of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, bought a copy of Beano comic[7] after seeing Eric Clapton depicted reading a copy of its sister publication The Beano on the cover of the 1966 album Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton. Bell suggested Tin Lizzie, the name of a robot character from the comic. Lynott liked the idea, but added an "h" and made the "ie" into "y", which became Thin Lizzy.

Studio albums
Thin Lizzy (1971)
Shades of a Blue Orphanage (1972)
Vagabonds of the Western World (1973)
Nightlife (1974)
Fighting (1975)
Jailbreak (1976)
Johnny the Fox (1976)
Bad Reputation (1977)
Black Rose: A Rock Legend (1979)
Chinatown (1980) Renegade (1981)
Thunder and Lightning (1983)

Live albums
Live and Dangerous (1978)
Life (1983)
BBC Radio One Live in Concert (1994)
The Peel Sessions (1994)
Boys Are Back in Town: Live in Australia (1999)
One Night Only (2000)

Official Web Site:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Keziah Jones - Blufunk

Son of a chief in a Yoruba tribe and successful industrialist, Keziah (Olufemi) spent his early childhood in a large family in the semi-Muslim part of Nigeria, close to the city of Lagos. From a young age he was being prepared to follow his father's footsteps and was expected to have an academic career. Therefore his father enrolled him in a Public School in London and Keziah left Nigeria 8 years old to be educated in England.

"I had to find a way out of all that bullshit, and music was it!" By the age of 13 he discovered the old school piano and taught himself how to play and write songs. Three years later he switched to the guitar, neglecting his studies more and more. After scraping through exams he went against his father's wishes and family tradition even more by skipping school and trying out his songs in the streets, clubs and London Underground, constantly avoiding the police, the Immigration Departement - and his own relatives.

Keziah led a bohemian life for several years instead of the one envisaged for him. "Lose all time, love your mind, free your soul!" (from his song Free Your Soul). Busking from London to Paris, accompanied by his guitar, he acquired an excellent reputation as a musician and performer with a unique style. It was when playing in small clubs and cafes in the London Covent Garden district and Portobello Road that he was discovered by his future manager Phil Picket. Picket got him touring all around the UK together with Phil "Soul" Sewell on bass and Richie Stevens on drums. Their energetic shows in 1990 caused a sensation and allowed them to record a first album.

Keziah Jones also paints and writes poetry. He’s a talented photographer and he produces short films, one among them entitled "BLACKSPEEDTEXT". This film, his music and the other facets of his artistic life reflect his experiences on the streets.

- Blufunk Is A Fact - (March 23, 1992)
- African Space Craft - (March 27, 1995)
- Liquid Sunshine - (May 10, 1999)
- Black Orpheus - (April 22, 2003)
- Black Orpheus Limited Edition - (2004)
- Rhythm Is Love - Best Of - (November 2, 2004)

Official Website

Blood,Sweat & Tears

Blood, Sweat & Tears (also known as "BS&T") was an American music group, formed in 1967 in New York City. The band fused rock, blues, pop music, horn arrangements and jazz improvisation into a hybrid that came to be known as "jazz-rock". Unlike "jazz fusion" bands, which tend toward virtuostic displays of instrumental facility and some experimentation with electric instruments, the songs of Blood, Sweat & Tears merged the stylings of rock, pop and R&B/soul music with big band, while also adding elements of small combo jazz traditions.

Blood, Sweat & Tears continues its heavy touring schedule throughout the world with its current line-up of members, some of whom have been with the band previously during the past two decades. Under the direction of Larry Dorr and founding member Bobby Colomby, the band has enjoyed something of a resurgence. Blood, Sweat & Tears donates money through its "Elsie Monica Colomby" music scholarship fund to deserving schools and students who need help in prolonging their musical education, such as the victims of Hurricane Katrina.[10] The year 2007 witnessed the band's first world tour in a decade. Since late 2005 the band often does shows backing up former Three Dog Night singer Chuck Negron where the group will play its own set then another set that includes Chuck's Three Dog Night hits.[11] 2008 brings with it the anticipated return of founding member Steve Katz. The year is also the 40th touring anniverary, and surprise alumni are expected to be joining the band throughout the year. [12]

All of the band's albums, with the exception of Brand New Day, are currently available on compact disc. BS&T's first four albums were reissued by Sony Records in remastered editions (typically with bonus material), except for its third album, which has been reissued by Mobile Fidelity. The later Columbia albums have been reissued by Wounded Bird Records, and Rhino Records has reissued Nuclear Blues. Brand New Day was issued on CD in Russia in 2002, although the disc may not have received authorization from copyright holders.


* Child Is Father to the Man (1968) Producer: John Simon
* Blood, Sweat & Tears (1969) Producer: James William Guercio
* Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 (1970) Producer: Bobby Colomby and Roy Halee
* The Owl and the Pussy Cat (Soundtrack) (1970) Producer: Thomas Z. Shepard
* Blood, Sweat & Tears 4 (1971) Producers: Don Heckman, Roy Halee and Bobby Colomby
* New Blood (1972) Producer: Bobby Colomby
* No Sweat (1973) Producer: Steve Tyrell
* Mirror Image (1974) Producer: Henry Cosby
* New City (1975) Producer: Jimmy Ienner
* More Than Ever (1976) Producer: Bob James
* Brand New Day (1977) Producers: Bobby Colomby and Roy Halee
* Nuclear Blues (1980) Producer: Jerry Goldstein
* Latin Fire (1985) [recorded 1980/81]
* Live And Improvised (1991) [recorded 1975] Producer: Bobby Colomby. Associate producer: Jimmy Ienner
* Live (1994) [recorded live at The Street Scene, Los Angeles, on October 12, 1980.)

Compilation Albums:

* Greatest Hits (1972)
* Super Hits (1998)
* What Goes Up! The Best of Blood, Sweat & Tears (1995) Compilation producer: Bob Irwin


* I Can't Quit Her (1968)
* I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know (1968)
* You've Made Me So Very Happy (1969)
* Spinning Wheel (1969)
* And When I Die (1969)
* Hi-De-Ho (1970)
* Lucretia MacEvil (1970)
* Go Down Gamblin' (1971)

Official Web Site:

Esbjörn Svensson Trio (E.S.T.)

A Swedish jazz piano trio with Esbjörn Svensson (piano), Dan Berglund (double bass) and Magnus Öström (drums).

E.S.T are renowned for their vibrant style – playing in rock venues to young crowds. They have achieved great commercial success and critical acclaim throughout Europe. Their 1999 release From Gagarin's Point of View started their international breakthrough, being the first e.s.t. album to be released outside of Scandinavia through the German label ACT.

-When Everyone Has Gone (1993) Dragon
-E.S.T. Live '95 (1995, released in Sweden as Mr. & Mrs. Handkerchief) ACT Music + Vision
-EST plays Monk (1996) Superstudio GUL
-Winter in Venice (1997) Superstudio GUL
-From Gagarin's Point of View (1999) Superstudio GUL
-Good Morning Susie Soho (2000) Superstudio GUL
-Somewhere Else Before (U.S. compilation from From Gagarin's Point of View and Good Morning Susie Soho, 2001)
-Strange Place for Snow (2002) Superstudio GUL
-Seven Days of Falling (2003) Superstudio GUL
-Live in Stockholm (2003) DVD, recorded December 10, 2000 – including videos and an interview
-Viaticum (2005) Spamboolimbo
-Tuesday Wonderland (2006, Recorded and mixed by Åke Linton at Bohus Sound Recording Studios, Gothenburg, Sweden in March 2006)
-Live in Hamburg (2007, recorded November 22, 2006)

Official Web Site.