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Patrik Lemberg (Tammisaari Finland)

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A great concert..., 19 Aug 2009
...the opening train-effect thing was cool as **censorship occurs**. But the picture is not that good (looks like video), and the sound is awful. About 20% of the mix is damp hissing, and the overall mix almost sounds mono, btw. A lazy mix despite the size of the band. It distorts a bit too. Watchable and listenable thanks to the great musicianship, and highly recommended to hardcore Jaco fans, studying musicians looking for inspiring musicians, who might get past the sound-quality (which I'd rate 5/10 - I've heard worse.)

John Coltrane - Impressions Of Coltrane [2007] [DVD] [2011]
John Coltrane - Impressions Of Coltrane [2007] [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ John Coltrane
Price: 13.99

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rich performances, poor DVD, 18 Mar 2007
There is not much footage available of John Coltrane in concert - especially not playing with Miles Davis or featuring Eric Dolphy. Here is one poor presentation, though, worth obtaining for purists and dedicated fans.

In 66 minutes, nine numbers are performed, five of which are by Coltrane's own group. Two of the latter portion ("My Favorite Things" and "Impressions") feature Eric Dolphy on flute and alto sax. In the rhythm section of Coltrane's own groups are McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones.

There are two recordings of "Impressions" and one of "So What" on the disc (the latter with Miles Davis' group in 1959.) The first "Impressions" (a 1963 recording) stands out for Jimmy Garrison's unaccompanied bass solo, which is a rare installment on presentations of this title elsewhere - a very cool solo, by the way. The choruses of the two "Impressions" and "So What" are harmonically the same, of course, and all improvisation on these titles are therefore limited to the same key and mode, not allowing much variation in mood on this DVD, as these titles take up 30 minutes of the running duration.

Of the four titles that are performed by Miles Davis' group, Coltrane is seen in only ONE ("So What".) The other three numbers feature Miles with a large brass section (in which Coltrane is supposedly a member.) Gil Evans conducts this orchestra, for which Miles is the only soloist. However, Coltrane cannot be spotted here, so even if the footage is nice to watch, you may actually question how the hell this portion of the disc is coherent to the rest of the material.

There are small flaws on the disc, and bigger, the smallest being Gil Evans' name spelled "Gill Evans" in the opening credits (which incidentally look very cheap,) and the biggest being the approximately 2 second long out-of-sync between audio and picture throughout all of the last track (the 8 minute long "Impressions" featuring Dolphy.) Another bothersome factor are the fade-ins and fade-outs on the majority of tunes; we do not get to listen to the opening/ending themes to most of these songs, which, of course, would tie the performances together...I doubt that the footage of so many beginnings and ends of songs have been lost or destroyed; this "effect" is rather obviously somebody's idea of a good musical presentation, which it naturally is not. The audio and picture quality is actually not too shabby, though - the best of what you can expect from late 50's/early 60's TV footage (and the sound is mixed in stereo, in 5.1 surround as well as in dts 5.1 surround.)

I'm glad to have seen and heard these TV performances, but I wouldn't have minded watching a much more professional presentation of them.

Rare Material
Rare Material
Price: 17.51

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Rare" indicating only that the material is currently out-of-print, 18 Mar 2007
This review is from: Rare Material (Audio CD)
This double-disc set release contains music from Moondog albums/discs currently out-of-print, only by which means this material is "rare;" for all you active Moondog listeners, who might have bought Moondog's music as albums have been released and re-released, every single track (and version) in this collection will be familiar. There are, however, 6 tracks that have not been released on CD before (tracks from the 1978 album "Instrumental Music" and from the 1986 album "Bracelli.")

I've been trying for 2 years to obtain Moondog's 1995 CD "Big Band." Had I succeeded in that prior to the release of this set, there would not have been much reason for me to spend money on "Rare Material," as disc no.1 consists of "Big Band" in its entirety.

Disc no.2 (which runs a few seconds short of an hour) has a very mixed order of a lot of mixed material; 3 of the 4 tracks from the 1955 EP "Moondog and His Honking Geese" (of which a limited, now out-of-print, edition was released on CD in 2001) are available ("Bumbo" is missing) but the majority of material on disc no.2 is taken from "Moondog" and "More Moondog" (both released on Prestige in 1956.)

In the booklet we find a few black and white photographs, a brief Moondog chronology, excerpts from his biographical poetic impressions, track-by-track commentary for "Big Band" by Moondog, and track-by-track information on disc no.2 by somebody anonymous at Roof, the latter featuring a couple of misprints, such as this version of "All is Loneliness" being taken from "More Moondog" [Prestige 1956] when in fact it is taken from "Moondog 2" [CBS 1971,] and details for "Lullaby" suggesting that it is "a sextet in 3/4 meter" which it is not; the meter is 5/4.

"Rare Material" is actually a fine looking, fine sounding, and much appreciated (well produced) release, but not unlike Roof's 2004 double-disc release "The German Years 1977-1999" (where, on disc no.2, the entire, incidentally extremely rare, last concert of Moondog's can be heard) this is a collection of official material (on this release recorded between 1949 and 1995.)

As a lot, if not all, material of Moondog's official releases seem to be shelved at Roof, I would much rather see a (perhaps chronological) release of each individual Moondog album that has been released over the last 5 decades than having to buy rare material which isn't as rare in the true sense of the word as it is compiled from official releases. Even though my personal collection lacked "Big Band," I can understand people feeling cheated having bought a quite pricey double-disc set entitled "Rare Material" only to realize that they've bought music that they already own. (The fact that disc no.1 features this recording is not indicated on either the front or back cover of this release - only in small print inside the booklet.)

I personally thank Roof for "Big Band," although I'd rather have bough it as a release with its original cover instead of (unknowingly) part of "Rare Material."

Perhaps more releases like "The German Years" and "Rare Material" is upcoming from Roof - I only wish the releases would be less of compilations and more of complete--more coherent--recordings, because if Moondog's material currently out-of-print and unissued on CD will continue to be released in this manner, most of us may not live to experience even half of it.

German Years, The 1977 - 1999
German Years, The 1977 - 1999
Offered by langton_info_england
Price: 42.19

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moondogs last concert!, 11 Nov 2005
This is a professional production of an official double disc set that was released in 2004 (5 years after Hardin's death.) It looks good and has 44 enclosed pages of valuable information about Moondog, such as a detailed biography, discography, Moondog's own words about the recordings, personnel listings, lyrics, pictures and a poem that Leonard Bernstein wrote to and about Moondog.
Also seeing quotes of Benny Goodman and Frank Zappa praising Moondog's music is particularly exhilarating for a Zappa fan like myself (I had no idea.)
The first disc consists of already released material, most of which I already owned when I bought this set. This disappointed me a bit, as I'd expected additional versions of these titles provided on the back.
The set is called "The German Years," but includes 5 tracks that are taken from "Sax Pax for a Sax" - an album that was recorded in England and performed by English musicians, and consists mainly of material that was written while Moondog lived in New York. Other albums that songs have been taken from are "H'art Songs" (4 tracks,) "In Europe" (4 tracks,) "Elpmas" (4 tracks,) "A New Sound of an Old Instrument" (3 tracks,) "Big Band" (1 track) and "Bracelli" (1 track.)
The 56 minute long disc #2 is the essential music in this set as it consists of only previously unreleased material. It is Moondog's last concert, which was recorded in France on August 1st, 1999 (less than 6 weeks prior to his passing.)
The concert, which consisted of both rare and recent material, was performed on solo piano by Dominique Ponty. At times Moondog joins in on bass drum, and here and there he recites a few couplets - a nice treat. But as always, when it comes to live recordings of solo piano performances, we have to deal with intruding sounds; aside from applause we get a few hundred coughs, a squeaking door that repeatedly opens and closes, at one point the barking of a distant dog, at one point the sirens of an ambulance driving by the recording location, and believe it or not - audience members trying to clap along to one of the solo piano canons! ...but overall the sound quality is very good and clear.
I'd recommend "The German Years 1977-1999" to Moondog fans (who haven't heard his last concert,) but to people who aren't familiar with his work, this is probably not the optimal place to start.

Essential Dictionary of Music: Definitions, Composers, Theory, Instruments (Essential Dictionary Series)
Essential Dictionary of Music: Definitions, Composers, Theory, Instruments (Essential Dictionary Series)
by Lindsey C. Harnsberger
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.40

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and comprehensive, 12 Aug 2005
This is a very useful and helpful book containing practically everything you'll ever need to look up when it comes to basic information about musical instruments, music theory, composers etc.
Amongst other things, this book presents and illustrates:
- the average ranges for musical instruments and vocalists (basses, tenors, altos, sopranos)
- definitions of common English, French, German, Italian, Polish (et al) musical terms and abbreviations.
- basic musical theory starting with an introduction of how notes and rests work, how sharps and flats work within different key signatures, and proceeds to things like intervals, scale types, chord types, chord charts, the cycle of fifths, ornaments, dynamic marks, tempo marks, music symbols, repeat signs etc.
- basic information about a large amount of composers, such as when and where they were born and musically active and what historical periods they belong to. Over 120 pages of the book presents composers of early music, like Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, but also modern composers like Edgard Varése, Frank Zappa and Charles Mingus.
The book does not include information about any musical groups, it doesn't illustrate musical examples from any composed music, it doesn't give you tips on what and how to practice on certain instruments, nor does it touch upon topics like instrumental and vocal technique, but everything basic that you should know if you're teaching or studying within the field of music you will find here (for a very low price.)
As it reads on the cover of the book: "The most practical and useful dictionary for students and professionals - over 330 pages of comprehensive music information."
Add "basic" to the last sentence and the statement is 100% accurate.
...the fact that the book is small, and therefore easy to carry with you anywhere, makes it great.

Safe As Milk
Safe As Milk
Price: 4.81

46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got Milk?, 12 Aug 2005
This review is from: Safe As Milk (Audio CD)
This is a band that developed FAST during the 60's. To think that this album was recorded the year after their 1966 single "Diddy Wah Diddy" - a Bo Diddley cover performed in a manner that made the group sound like any mediocre pop group of early/mid 60's, and 2 years before the revolutionary 1969 Frank Zappa production "Trout Mask Replica" (for which Van Vliet was given 100% artistic freedom)...
Blues elements have always been apparent in Beefheart's singing as well as in his music, and it's probably the strongest element on "Safe as Milk;" the album starts off with a slide-guitar dominated tune, played over a commonly used blues structure used by Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, among others.
"Grown So Ugly," though not a 12 bar structure completely in 4/4, is also a blues tune and cover of blues singer/guitarist Robert Pete Williams. The guitars on the other tracks are also very bluesy, with perhaps the exception of the 3/4 R&B/doo-wop tune "I'm Glad," which--Beefheart's voice aside--musically sounds unlike the rest of the album.
Another bluesy element is Beefheart's distorted tremolo harmonica (introduced on "Plastic Factory") which, just like his emotional singing on "Where There's Woman," is performed from his heart in a skillful, personal way.
The overall sound has been digitally improved. It's not only clearer than on the original LP record, but also compared to earlier CD releases of the album. This has made the audio picture wider and the listening experience "easier" if you will. Some might disagree and call this kind of "updating" rape of art. While I can appreciate such a point of view, I must say that I prefer the digitally re-mastered version (of THIS album) for a number of reasons:
- The Captain's singing in the left channel on "Sure 'Nuff 'N Yes I do" doesn't suffer from being too low in volume anymore.
- The balance between the instruments is more accurate to how it was intended from the start (though no BIG changes have been made - it's not re-MIXED). The reason some tracks originally suffered from "bad balance" is that the music was recorded on 4 tracks, but due to a low production budget, had to be mixed on 2.
- Though improvements have been made by shifting certain frequencies it still sounds dirty and "old" like it should.
There is, in my opinion, a downside to this, though: the guitar sound on "Call On Me" is a bit brighter than earlier - the pogo stick/fast feather sounding kind of tremolo/vibrato effect is much more obvious now than before (I had barely noticed it earlier.) It makes the guitar sound a bit out-of-tune, and the whole mix of the song seems a bit thicker because of this, but it's no BIG problem, though I could have lived without the uplifting of that element.
With the 7 bonus tracks the CD runs over 71 minutes, but the original "Safe as Milk," i.e. the 12 first tracks, is a bit under 34 minutes long.
Several of the bonus tracks are quite interesting; take 5 of the song "Safe as Milk," which originally appeared on the 1968 "Strictly Personal" album, is featured here, with--in comparison to the "Strictly Personal" version--a much sharper mix.
This also goes for take 9 of "Trust Us," - a song that also originally appeared on "Strictly Personal."
The takes are quite similar to their "true form" though the bonus track "Safe as Milk" runs a bit shorter - it lacks the minute of hectic drumming at the end.
The instrumental "Big Black Baby Shoes" is an early version of "Ice Rose" (which wasn't further developed and re-recorded until 12 years later.) "Ice Rose" is included on the 1979 album "Shiny Beast/Bat Chain Puller," where the main melody is played on trombone by Bruce Fowler. "Big Black Baby Shoes" isn't as organized or skillfully played as "Ice Rose," but it's an interesting listen for comparison.
"Dirty Blue Gene" is an early version of "The Witch Doctor Life," which wasn't re-recorded until the making of "Ice Cream for Crown," where no original Magic Band members were featured, and lyrics had been added. Again, the version played 15 years earlier wasn't played as skillfully, but it's still candy for your ears.
On "Korn Ring Finger" Van Vliet introduces the "manual tremolo" effect by turning the mic on and off while singing a long note - this effect was to be used a lot during the "Mirror Man" session.
"Safe as Milk" was, upon its release, John Lennon's favorite album. With the original LP release of this album, a "Safe as Milk" sticker was featured, and there's a famous picture (famous to Beefheart fans anyway) of Lennon laying in his apartment on a couch and reading a magazine, with two "Safe as Milk" stickers on the doors of a cupboard in the background.
Aside from the orginal Magic Band--which consisted of John "Drumbo" French, Alex St. Clair Snouffer, Ry Cooper and Jerry Handley--Doug Moon, Russ Titelman, Milt Holland, Taj Mahal, Sam Hoffman and Richard Perry participate on various instruments here and there throughout the album.
Don't expect it to be another "Trout Mask Replica" if that's all you've heard by Captain Beefheart, but don't think that you're unable to like this music just because you like "Trout Mask" - I like both. This album has perhaps more commercial potential than any other Magic Band release, and should appeal especially to fans of slide guitar/harmonica dominated 60's rock with a raw, bluesy sound.
Just like the sticker on the CD-case reads, this is "one of the most extraordinary debut albums in history."
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 18, 2014 7:27 PM GMT

To Kill A Mockingbird (2 Disc Special Edition)  [DVD]
To Kill A Mockingbird (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gregory Peck
Offered by jackiott
Price: 19.99

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An acknowledged masterpiece, 7 Aug 2005
"To Kill a Mockingbird" is at the time of my writing this ranked at #40 on IMDb's top 250 list (of movies of all time.)
I haven't read Harper Lee's price-winning novel on which the movie is based, but watching the movie today (my second time in a year) reminded me of how much I wanted to experience the original story, in print, in addition to the film.
Gregory Peck, who'd started working on Broadway and in movies 20 years prior to this film, does a very stable and critically acclaimed (Oscar rewarded) performance as Atticus Finch - a small town lawyer who, in 1930's Southern America, is defending a coloured man (accused for rape by a white woman) in court.
Much of this 1962 B&W movie, which incidentally includes Robert Duvall's film-debut, is played out through the eyes of Finch's motherless children, "Jem" and "Scout."
I recommend it highly to anybody anywhere, regardless of age and culture, as it contains no "foul language" or "severe violence." Sure - the story might not be very accessible to a five year old, but the content of the movie is not bound to hurt anyone. For all the viewer is aware, this could be a recreation of actual historic events, which it in a sense is.
The music, composed by Elmer Bernstein, undoubtedly suites the picture well and partly reminds me of elements (harmonically and in instrumentation) featured in certain harp-dominated music of some 1950's Ingmar Bergman pictures (especially "Smiles of a Summer Night" came to mind.)
Though probably not within the incoming year or two, I'm sure I'm going to watch this movie again.
For a regular film-lover to leave this classic unwatched would be like killing a mockingbird.

We Saw a Bozo Under the Sea
We Saw a Bozo Under the Sea
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 22.65

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 30 years later that night..., 3 Mar 2005
This is probably not the solo album one would expect from Captain Beefheart's former "glass finger guitar player," since he mainly is associated with the legendary guitar sound and playing on tunes like "Moonlight on Vermont" and "The Spotlight Kid."
Close to 30 years after having left the Magic Band to form the group "Mallard," who released two albums in the 70's, he seems to appear out of nowhere with an unexpected and surprising kind of solo release.
All tracks are composed by Zoot Horn Rollo and, with the exception of three short guitar tracks, feature a rhythm section consisting of drums (Gregg Bendian) and an equal amount of electric bass (Dave Lucas) and acoustic bass (Mark Schneider.) Besides rhythm instruments and solo guitar, three tracks feature vibraphone (Bendian,) two tracks feature saxophone (Dave O'Toole,) one tracks features violin (Brian Price) and another harmonica (Tony Proveaux.)
To simply categorize this music as "jazz" would be misleading. There aren't any free jams, though there is a meaningful amount of improvisation within certain frames; guitar solos--mostly played over one or few chords, and sometimes backed up by an overdubbed rhythm guitar--are often played over a written bass line and drum pattern.
The qualities and styles of the compositions vary, but they're mostly in 4/4 (with a few exceptions of 6/4.) The melodies and instrumental parts are to large extent written out and well arranged - it's not just 16 bars of melody plus solos. At times, certain 70's guitar dominated FZ numbers comes to mind.
The musical performances are entertaining and striving towards an open-minded approach and creative ideas (especially Bendian's,) but the instrumentalists are by no means leading virtuosos, though obviously trained and experienced.
After the release of "We Saw a Bozo under the Sea," 53 year old Zoot Horn Rollo (a.k.a. Bill Harkleroad) said this about his own guitar playing: "I used to play everything in a hyperventilated way. Now I've learned to pay attention to the full duration of each note."
This is a good way to describe the difference of his guitar playing now and the Beefheart years. Certainly the two musical styles can't be compared, but I still find this quote to be a good example of giving people an idea of the direction in which ZHR's musicianship has developed.
I'm glad to have bought this album - it is by no means uninspiring.

Stravinsky: Three mouvements from Petrushka; Prokofiev: Piano Sonata 7; Webern: Piano Variations; Boulez: Piano Sonata 2
Stravinsky: Three mouvements from Petrushka; Prokofiev: Piano Sonata 7; Webern: Piano Variations; Boulez: Piano Sonata 2
Price: 7.68

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Praised and impressive, 1 Mar 2005
Pollini's performance of these three movements from Stravinsky's Petrouchka and Prokofiev's Piano Sonata no.7 were recorded in 1971, and his performance of Webern's Piano Variations and Boulez's Piano Sonata were recorded in 1976. These recordings were originally released by Deutsche Grammophon on two separate LP records; the first in 1972, and the second in 1978. They have now been refurbished and combined on this 68+ minute disc. One does not have to be familiar with the sound of the original recordings to appreciate Deutsche Grammophon's restoration job; the sound is clear and should be satisfactory to any listener.
I love Stravinsky's own reading of Petrouchka (CSO, 1960) - it was my first introduction to his music, and it is still the recording of the ballet which, for me, is closest to heart, but Pollini's performance on this disc is indeed amazing. It's in a class of its own, and I therefore suggest for people who like Petrouchka to listen to this performance of it, as it will allow new comprehensions of melodic lines that earlier might not have appeared as tangible. The main reason for my having listened to this disc at least 20 times during the last few weeks is because of the Prokofiev tracks; both music and performance are beyond my vocabulary, but I suppose are describable as stunning. This disc has been my first introduction to both Prokofiev's and Boulez's music, and I must say that I favour the music of Prokofiev - it is easily digested in comparison to Webern's and Boulez's music, but the performances here are all impressive; they will not allow you to listen with anything but a keen ear. This has to be one of the most tasteful and thrilling piano-albums of modern classical music. 10/10.

Straight No Chaser [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Straight No Chaser [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Thelonious Monk

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE Monk documentary, 1 Mar 2005
Whenever we see jazz-history programs on TV, we see very little of Thelonious Monk; there's always that short footage of him wearing slim sunglasses, sitting on a fold-out chair playing the piano, and stomping his foot. I had never even heard Monk talk prior to this presentation of him's a good thing there are subtitles ;)
Watching this highly informative and well presented 90-minute documentary about him and his music got me so excited that I had to throw on the old "Straight No Chaser" record when it was over - I guess I actually needed a chaser.
A common mistake in presentations of musical documentaries is that there isn't enough music; people usually talk over it, but that is NOT the case here; footage from recording sessions and concerts are distinctly kept apart from interviews, which is a big plus. Something that isn't much discussed here, though, are the highlights of Monk's career, i.e. when he had success with certain compositions or recordings,--or even which recordings that were successful--he's more presented "on the whole", even though the documentary basically is chronological. There is, however, a "Monk Career Highlights" feature in text, but it's very short; the career-highlight feature of executive producer Clint Eastwood is twice as long.
"Straight No Chaser" is probably the most informative documentary made of Monk so far. There's a short theatrical trailer, and subtitles in four different languages, plus this DVD has no problems with either audio or picture, which is nice and unusual. Highly recommended! 4.5 stars!

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