Master par Excellence

I have already mentioned Gabriel Fauré in my first post of this series, but as I listen to this composer a lot right now, and also because he is interesting in the content of comparing the late Romanticism with the Modernism, due to his own transition during those years. I will make another post about Fauré.

I’m no expert in music theory, so I can’t get into a deep explanation about his development,  but you can listen for yourself to this two Violin pieces, both wonderful but the difference is very clear. :

Violin sonata, Op. 13 Composition Year 1875-76:

Fauré was professor of composition at the Paris Conservatoire from the mid 1890’s and from the first decade the headmaster, one of his famous students was Maurice Ravel. After Fauré’s death, the Conservatoire rejected his radical teaching.

Violin sonata, Op. 108 Composition Year 1916-17:

In 1945 Musicologist Leslie Orrey wrote in The Musical Times, “‘More profound than Saint-Saëns, more varied than Lalo, more spontaneous than d’Indy, more classic than Debussy, Gabriel Fauré is the master par excellence of French music.”

String Quartet in E minor, Op 121, is his last work, completed in 1924


A Liquid Fusion from the Adriatic Sea.

After Miles was opening the door between Jazz and Rock with Filles de Kilimanjaro (68), In a Silent Way (69) and especially with Bitches Brew (70), there was a lot of good creative bands playing a great fusions of Jazz and Rock throughout the 70’s.

One of these Groups was Italian Agora from Ancona area at the Adriatic side of central Italy, Their first studio album (1976) was called Angora´2 based on the fact that they had already released a live album from Montreux international jazz festival.


Agora is a relative unknown band (outside the absolute inner fussion circle), playing a style that is not ground breaking, the similarities to the big Jazz/Rock fusion legends is very evident, but to me it is still a nice album with some very fine fusion. Especially the woodwind instruments works very well for me on this album.



Some Solid Copenhagen Sound

Today a look at a Danish band “The Sandmen”, the band was formed in Copenhagen 1985, with album debut in 1987. Including some breakups and makeups and some line-up changes the band is still active. Even though their record company at the time A&M send them on a promo tour in 1989 to Canada and the USA, they never made it big outside Denmark.

The English guitarist  Sam Mitchell born in Liverpool joined The Sandmen in 1988, and was an important part of the sound in their prime years until 1995. Mitchell had previously played on Rod Stewarts Gasoline Alley (1970) and Every Picture Tells a Story (1971). After the breakup he was weakened by tuberculosis and died in 2006 only 56 years old.

The Sandmen’s last album came out in 2014 for the first time the band changed their language to the native tongue, but the sound was pretty much the same, a good solid classic rock with a drop of psychedelia.

Contributions by Robert (part IV)

In 1992 Fripp contributed to David Cunningham’s “Water” on a single track “Stars” – the saxophone player is Peter (Laurence) Gordon.

Fripp had already been involved with contributions to Cunningham’s group “The Flying Lizard” back in 1981. This time the music was more ambient and minimalistic.


Also in 1992 Fripp contributes on English electronic group The Grid’s album 456. Fripp’s plays on 3 tracks, Ice Machine, Aquarium and Fire Engine Red.

While Fripp is very evident on all the tracks, Ice Machine stands out as the most hilarious and at the same time brilliant. A must know track for any Fripp devotee. Vocals performed by Dieter Meier from Swiss band Yello.

And then, as python said, to something completely different.


In 1993 Fripp played on a track from Lawrence Gowan “…but you can call me Larry” sorry to say so, but to me this is very forgettable.

Anyway here it is, it might be that others will think it is great:

Lawrence Henry Gowan is a Scottish-born Canadian pianist and singer, since 1999 Gowan has been a member of legendary American rock band Styx

The John Paul Jones Story Part 7

After his last solo album, Jones performed with various artists, folk artist Julie Felix, Prog legend Steve Hackett and others, produced New Zealand hard rocker’s The Datsuns 2nd album, before appearing on  Foo Fighters “In Your Honor” from 2005.

According to an article in Rolling Stone, band leader Grohl on Jones appearance : “If I say it’s the greatest thing that happened to me in my life, my wife will get mad, so it’s the second greatest.”

John Paul Jones – mandolin on “Another Round” from “In Your Honor”

Foo Fighters is an American band, formed in Seattle in 1994, by x-Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl.

“In Your Honor “is a double album, with one hard electric part and one acoustic. Jones performs on two track, both on the acoustic part.

John Paul Jones –piano on “Miracle” from “In Your Honor”, (with Petra Haden – Violin)


Besides Jones the album has a number of other well-known guests Petra Haden known from lots of projects including  playing with The Decemberists, Green Day and many others, Norah Jones, Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and more.

Josh Homme – rhythm guitar on “Razor” from “In Your Honor”




紫 or 12 Gracious Melodies

Scott Weiland, the voice behind Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver died on December 3, 2015, he was 48 years old. To me personally the music or album that instantly comes to mind is an album I have always know as “12 Gracious Melodies”.


That is not the official title, officially it is called “Purple”, but that title is only written on the cover in Chinese: 紫, so I just did not know better, “12 Gracious Melodies” is written on the back of the CD. All this is before we were checking everything with our Ipad’s on the www.


Stone Temple Pilots is an American rock band from San Diego, California. While originally identified as grunge, the band is actually more diverse that that, it would probably be more fair to just call their music melodic hard rock.


It may be too daring to say, that this is the best Rock album of the 90’s, there is so many to choose from, but this is definitely one of my favorites. It is full of brilliant melodic rock songs, varied and catchy without being cheesy, and the vocals are perfect.


Rest in Peace.



Sidi Mansour

One of the most unexpected Fripp collaborations was the creation of Cheikha Rimittis “Sidi Mansour” album from 1994. An amazing blend of Middle East traditions meets Western rock.

Fronted by  Cheikha Remitti, a female 70 years old Algerian Raï singer, often referred to as the Grandmother of Raï, with East Bay Ray (Dead Kennedys) on rhythm guitar, Fripp on lead guitar, Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) delivers some very very hot bass work throughout the album, all this on top of very crafted percussions and horns. All very talented put together to create a sound I have never heard on any other album.

“Sidi Mansour” was followed by a 1995 mini album: Cheikha [Unreleased Tracks From The Sidi Mansour Album]

Rimitti was one of the most influential singers in the development of the popular Algerian music style known as Rai. She was born in 1923 in French-controlled Algeria. She became an orphan at a young age and grew up living a hard life.

She joined a troupe of traditional Algerian musicians and learnt to sing and dance, and even though she was illiterate all her life, she created more than 200 songs. Mostly of a social realistic nature, about the hardness of poor people living, love, sex, alcohol ect. Her poetry forced her out of Algeria in the 1960’s, she spent most of the rest of her live in France. She died in Paris in 2006, aged 83.


Hawkins Encounters Webster

Jazz can be many things, and do many things to me as a listener. Today I have fund an example of Jazz as a Zen moment, filled with true beauty. When I listen to these tracks from   “Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster”, every stressful thought leaves me and I am filled with ease. My thought go back to late night / early mornings, wandering empty streets on my way home from great nights.

Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster is studio album recorded in 1957, on the Verve label. The band was :

Coleman Hawkins – tenor saxophone, Ben Webster – tenor saxophone, Oscar Peterson – piano, Herb Ellis – guitar, Ray Brown – double bass, Alvin Stoller – drums.

In the United Kingdom, the album was released with the title Blue Saxophones.

Hawkins was born in Missouri 1904, active from the early 1920’s to 1967. He was one of the first prominent Jazz musicians to play the tenor saxophone, and have been a major influence on many tenor saxophonists. Hawkins has played with a lot of famous Jazz musicians, far too many to mention here.



Stockholm & Pygmalion’s Ladder

“Stockholm” is a track from American band OSIs third studio album “Blood” from 2009.

The track features OSI members, guitarist/basist, Jim Matheos (Fates Warning) and keyboardist Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, Dream Theater), with the addition of drummer Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson) and vocals by Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth)

The Track was written by Matheos/Moore, lyrics by Åkerfeldt.

What I like about this particular track, is the buildup, melting of ambient almost electronic sound into a hard riff based metal toward the end.

Another nice example of melting ambient with elements from prog-metal, is Lunatic Soul, the solo project of Mariusz Duda, lead singer and creative force behind the Polish prog metal band Riverside. Lunatic Soul outputs in generally more calm than OSI’s, but there are hints of harder rock, here and there.

Pygmalion’s Ladder, from Lunatic Soul’s 2014 album, Walking On A Flashlight Beam

The John Paul Jones Story Part 6

In 2001 Jones released his 2nd solo album “The Thunderthief”, again  on Fripp’s DGM label. Again he produced the album, and played a lot of different instruments : vocals, 12-string bass guitars, bass, acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, electric mandolin, piano, organ, synthesizer, Kyma, koto, autoharp, ukelele, harmonica. With Terl Bryant (Iona) on drums. Nick Beggs, Stick on two track, Adam Bomb/Robert Fripp – guitar solo on one track each.

John Paul Jones, with Robert Fripp (solo guitar).

The album is mostly is line with what was created on Zooma, maybe a bit lighter, partly because we have got vocals on this one, partly because the material might be just a tiny bit more easy to grasp. Again all in all a very varied album.

Jones was touring “The Thunderthief”, A trio with Nick Beggs and  Terl Bryant, opening for King Crimson.


With his impressive solo albums Jones has proven ready to experiment and explore new territories, definitely showing him as the most avant-grade and experimental Zeppelin member, and a very diverse and skilled musician. “The Thunderthief” was Jones last solo album so far, but it is not the end of his story.








Digging Deeper into Music

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