Sunday, October 31, 2010

Al Conti: Northern Seas (2010)

The myths of the Norse come to life in composer Al Conti's new recording. Northern Seas is Conti's fourth album and contains eleven original New Age/World-fusion pieces that draw on ancient Norse mythology while weaving in modern sensibilities. As with his previous award-winning album, Scheherazade, Conti has taken well-known tales, this time from the mystical lands of the north that originated during Scandinavia's Viking Age, and woven music around themes and images. By combining ancient and exotic instruments (kantele, Jew's harp, hurdy gurdy, pump organ, accordion, and tribal drums) with modern ones (piano, violin, cello and both acoustic and electric guitar), Conti has created a mythical landscape that will carry the listener to another time and place, one cloaked in veils of mist when the gods ruled over harsh Nordic lands.
1. Veil of Mist (3:24)
2. Northern Seas (4:24)
3. Spring Maiden (4:47)
4. Song of Rig (4:15)
5. Thor's Journey (4:11)
6. Dans For Loki (Loki's Jig) (3:45)
7. Odin The Wanderer (4:46)
8. Baldur (5:22)
9. Valkyrja (5:34)
10. Ragnarok (3:55)
11. The Rainbow Bridge (4:37)
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Camane: Do Amor e dos Dias (2010)

The newest album by Camane, the elder brother of Helder and Pedro Moutinho and one of Portugal's very finest and most innovative singers of Fado. An excellent album of great variety - featuring Carlos Bica on double bass!
Tracklist:01. Casa (Tentei Fugir Da Mancha Mais Escura) ....... 4:05 (David Mourao-Ferreira/Alain Oulman)
02. Emboscadas ....... 3:49 (Sergio Godinho)
03. Suplica ....... 3:30 (Frederico de Brito/Ferrer Trindade)
04. Ultimo Recado ....... 3:26 (Manuela de Freitas/Alfredo Marceneiro)
05. O Amor E O Amor (Comentario 1) ....... 0:21 (Jose Mario Branco sobre o poema de Alexandre O'Neil)
06. Porta Aberta ....... 4:19 (Luis Viana/Jose Mario Branco)
07. Fado Livre ....... 2:16 (Miguel Novo/Joaquim Campos Silva)
08. Lubrica ....... 3:29 (Cesario Verde/Joaquim Campos)
09. Depois Que Um Beijo Me Deste ....... 3:37 (Maria Margarida Castro/Frederico De Brito)
10. Ausencia ....... 3:36 (Maria Margarida Castro/Pedro Rodrigues)
11. O Amor E O Amor (Comentario 2) ....... 0:24 (Jose Mario Branco sobre o poema de Alexandre O'Neil)
12. Tanto Me Faz ....... 4:14 (Miguel Novo/Jose Mario Branco)
13. Piso Terreo ....... 4:06 (Manuela de Freitas/Alfredo Marceneiro)
14. A Guerra Das Rosas ....... 3:47 (Manuela de Freitas/Jose Mario Branco)
15. Porque Me Olhas Assim ....... 4:20 (Fausto Bordalo Dias)
16. E Por Vezes ....... 4:26 (David Mourao-Ferreira/Armando Machado)
17. O Amor E O Amor (Comentario 3) ....... 0:59 (Jose Mario Branco sobre o poema de Alexandre O'Neil)
18. A Meu Favor ....... 2:49 (Alexandre O'Neil/Jose Mario Branco)
Camane - vocals
Jose Manuel Neto - portuguese guitar
Carlos Manuel Proenca - acoustic guitar
Carlos Bica - double bass
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wayman Tisdale: The Fonk Record (2010)

Buckle up; here we go. Before going home, our departed brother, the benevolent gentle giant of smooth jazz, bassist Wayman Tisdale, decided to accomplish one more goal as a gift to us all: To complete work on one of the funkiest, nastiest, grittiest records of his illustrious and joyous though short career, The Fonk Record, due out on Oct. 26. Admittedly, this one caught me totally by surprise, not being aware that such a monster was being created in the “lab” and mind of the happy bassist (referred to here as perhaps an undercover “funkateer”). This one turns a kinda “bad boy funksta” spotlight on the jazz musician who, while often taking us down memory lane to party to the tunes of Sly Stone, James Brown, and EWF, didn’t put as much emphasis on the “naughty” funk element as he does here. This is Wayman Tisdale funk on steroids.
With help from such Lords of Funk as George Clinton and George Duke and inspired by artists like Bootsy Collins and the Gap Band, Tisdale created his own funky moniker called Tiz and the Fonkie Planetarians band (yes, and you can only imagine until you fully hear this behemoth product). The towering man of steel plows through this set with that infectious glee and a touch of mischief as he implores his band (and us) to move, dance, sing, etc. Energy? Is the sun bright? Soulful? Is snow cold? Raw? Is funk at its core form spelled F-O-N-K?
Many, especially fellow funksters from yesteryear, may actually deem this as Tisdale’s best offering. It’s hard not to go there, especially considering his state of mind and that effervescent and overwhelmingly positive spirit and personality despite his diagnosis and ultimate departure. To hear how much creativity this man still had to offer and how he so loved offering it is equally sad and uplifting.
All of the tunes here, from “The Introduction” to “Wayman’s Gotta Do It” are solidly packed with funk and soul. The mid-to-up-tempo funk is thick, the slow, soulful tunes are stirring. The tongue-in-cheek (and oft downright hilarious) passages just add extra flavor to an already spicy production. One very moving track is “Been Here Before,” featuring the soulful croonings of the now-departed former Temptations lead singer Ali Woodson as he took a moment in the song to address how much he missed the great bassist. A very riveting and somber moment indeed.
The Fonk Record’s got it all, and, again, we have to give a HUGE thanks to the man who gave us so many smiles and so much sunshine through his music, his fun-loving nature, and his very sprit. The party continues, Wayman, my brother, and you still occupy a huge space on the stage and the dance floor. I know I speak for legions upon legions of fans when I say that our love remains boundless for you. What a party Heaven must be havin’! – Ronald Jackson
01. The Introduction 3:41
02. Let's Ride (feat. George Duke) 4:09
03. This Fonk Is 4U (feat. George Clinton) 4:27
04. Spread Tha Butta 5:38
05. Tiz Phone Call 0:28
06. Sunshine 5:57
07. Neck Bones 3:47
08. If U Really Want to Know (I Like It Fonk-kaa) 5:30
09. Every Now and Then 4:46
10. Been Here Before (feat. Ali Woodson) 5:35
11. Wayman's Gotta Do It 4:31
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George Shearing Quartet: This Shearing Sound (1994)

This was pianist George Shearing’s first recording in a piano-vibes-guitar-bass-drums quintet since he broke up his original group in 1978 after 30 years of steady work; Shearing sounds surprisingly inspired throughout. With guitarist Louis Stewart, vibraphonist Steve Nelson, bassist Neil Swainson, and drummer Dennis Mackrel, Shearing explores such vintage Quintet standards as “East of the Sun (And West of the Moon)” and “I’ll Never Smile Again” along with two Horace Silver compositions, a pair of his own songs (“Conception” and his biggest hit, “Lullaby of Birdland”), and a variety of other suitable material. The music ranges from easy listening to hard-driving bebop. The sound of the George Shearing Quintet remains as appealing as ever.
1.East of the Sun
2.I’d Like to Recognize the Tune
3.I’ll Never Smile Again
4.I Hear Music
5.Girl Talk
6.Autumn Serenade
8.Stars in My Eyes
9.Strollin’ $0.99
11.Very Early
13.Lullaby of Birdland
PersonnelGeorge Shearing - piano
Louis Stewart – guitars
Steve Nelson – vibraphon
Neil Swainson – bass
Dennis Mackrel - drums
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hank Jones, Bill Evans, Red Mitchell: Moods Unlimited (1993)

This was one of the more unconventional jazz trios assembled in recent years, including veteran bebop and hard bop pianist Hank Jones, equally venerable bassist Red Mitchell, and relative youngster Bill Evans, best known from Miles Davis' band of the '80s. They came together for a 1982 session that has been reissued by Evidence, and the results are mostly good, despite occasional flubs and meandering by Evans, who did not always sound confident. But it is easy to understand why when listening to the fluid, smooth, routinely brilliant playing of Jones. The absence of a drummer made the instrumental mix and contrast even more vivid; Evans' tenor and soprano stood almost naked at times without covering rhythms. But he mostly met the challenge well, showing some subtlety and depth on soprano. ~ Ron Wynn
1. Yesterdays - Bill Evans, Arkeen, West
2. There Is No Greater Love - Bill Evans, Jones, Isham
3. All the Things You Are - Bill Evans, Hammerstein, Oscar
4. In a Sentimental Mood - Bill Evans, Ellington, Duke
5. Night and Day - Bill Evans, Porter, Cole
Recorded at Penthouse Recording Studio, New York on October 28 & 30, 1982.
Bill Evans (soprano & tenor saxophones),
Hank Jones (piano),
Red Mitchell (bass)
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Z-Men: Z-Men (2003)

Z-Men are a fluid world fusion trio flowing between jazz, fusion, funk, rock and raga maintaining their own signature sound through out this full length album. All acclaimed solo artists they formed in the unlikely city of Hong Kong where they all met and did various gigs in various situations. Since forming they have toured the world playing to many a delighted crowd. This album really captures their uplifting musical vibe taking the listener on a journey of emotions and feelings. The chemistry between the band members is very special and the listener can really pick up on it from this CD. This is the first album of a promising future for Z-Men, keep and eye out for another album coming soon.
01 Hurting (6:00)
02 Ba (5:07)
03 Kai's Montune-O (5:38)
04 Blue Mountains Raga (5:01)
05 Quirky M (3:18)
06 Tears in the Rain/Spanish Song (9:18)
07 Citroens (3:14)
08 Milde Shag (4:58)
09 (NYC)Hurting-Fonk (5:15)
10 Little Wing (10:45)
11 Peace (3:46)
12 Z-Men (6:53)
Flynn Adams - Conklin 7 string Bass
Guy Le Claire - Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Gong
Robbin J.Harris - Drums & Percussion
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Claude Bolling and Yo-Yo Ma: Suite for Cello and Jazz Piano Trio (1984)

Claude Bolling and Yo-Yo Ma are a combination made in heaven on Bolling's "Suite for Cello & Jazz Piano Trio." Once again marvelously mixing together many of the basic ingredients of classical and jazz, Bolling serves up a deliciously rich stew of musical influences that manages always to sound fresh, never derivative.
1. Claude Bolling & Yo-Yo Ma - Baroque in Rhythm (4:23)
2. Claude Bolling & Yo-Yo Ma - Concertante (11:53)
3. Claude Bolling & Yo-Yo Ma - Galop (6:47)
4. Claude Bolling & Yo-Yo Ma - Ballade (9:52)
5. Claude Bolling & Yo-Yo Ma - Romantique (8:31)
6. Claude Bolling & Yo-Yo Ma - Cello Fan (6:45)
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Miles Davis: E.S.P. (1965) [2006 DSD Japan Mini LP Edition]

ESP marks the beginning of a revitalization for Miles Davis, as his second classic quintet — saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams — gels, establishing what would become their signature adventurous hard bop. Miles had been moving toward this direction in the two years preceding the release of ESP and he had recorded with everyone outside of Shorter prior to this record, but his addition galvanizes the group, pushing them toward music that was recognizably bop but as adventurous as jazz's avant-garde....more .
Personnel: Miles Davis (trumpet); Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); Herbie Hancock (piano); Ron Carter (acoustic bass); Tony Williams (drums)
01. E.S.P.
02. Eighty-One
03. Little One
04. R.J.
05. Agitation (Shorter)
07. Mood
Esp (Reis)
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Ethan Iverson Trio: Deconstruction Zone (Standards) (2004)

This exhilarating set of standards was conceived as a companion piece to Iverson’s Construction Zone (Originals) and was recorded during the same two-day session. Revealing their roots in jazz tradition, pianist Iverson and his trio mates Reid Anderson (bass) and Jorge Rossy (drums) bring wit and wisdom to great old songs such as “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You,” “The Song Is You,” and “I’ll Remember April.” Other highlights include a powerful solo piano rendition of “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” a moving version of the seldom-heard “This Nearly Was Mine” (from the show South Pacific), and rhythmically bizarre reworkings of “All of Me” and “Have You Met Miss Jones.” Anderson gets far more solo room this time around, which is a considerable bonus.
01. I’m Getting Sentimental over You (Bassman, Washington) 6:02
02. The Song Is You (Hammerstein, Kern) 7:15
03. This Nearly Was Mine (Hammerstein, Rodgers) 5:43
04. All of Me (Marks, Simons) 3:30
05. I’ll Remember April (DePaul, Johnston, Raye) 6:33
06. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (Harbach, Kern) 6:24
07. Have You Met Miss Jones? (Hart, Rodgers) 7:01
Ethan Iverson (piano);
Reid Anderson (bass);
Jorge Rossy (drums).
Deconstruction Zone (Standards)
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Paul Hardcastle: Jazzmasters VI (2010)

BILLBOARD Magazine's 2008 Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year, prolific producer/multi-instrumentalist, Paul Hardcastle releases the much anticipated volume VI in his immensely popular Jazzmasters series, a vehicle that helped him re-launch his career in the early '90s, made him a household name and has garnered him legions of rabid fans worldwide.
It's been 19 years since the release of Jazzmasters I a pet project that became a format game changer in its initial release and one that has defined a music style that has yet to be copied. VI mark the entity's ambitious return to the fold and continues to raise the bar with a grouping of highly charged melodic and memorable pieces that have become the Hardcastle/Jazzmasters signature over the last two decades.
01. Touch and Go 04:33
02. One Chance 03:33
03. Cloud Watching 05:29
04. I Really Like 03:56
05. Solar Sky 04:17
06. I Can't Get By 04:19
07. In The Key of Time 04:50
08. One Chance (Full Version) 05:56
09. The Vision 04:09
10. Dimensions of Light 04:29
11. So Into You 03:48
12. Return Of The Rainman (Reprise) 04:16
Jazzmasters VI
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Steve Lehman Octet: Travail. Transformation, and Flow (2009)

Travail, Transformation, and Flow is an important new recording from the Steve Lehman Octet that marks the first fully realized exploration of spectral harmony in the history of recorded jazz. In spectral music, instrumental overtones are blended together to create striking new harmonies, which Lehman has stonishingly adapted as a platform for jazz improvisation. The result is an all-encompassing musical universe that advances a singular conception of rhythm, harmony, and improvisational form.
1. Echoes - Steve Lehman Octet 4:28
2. Rudreshm - Steve Lehman Octet 4:51
3. As Things Change (I Remain the Same) - Steve Lehman Octet 3:51
4. Dub - Steve Lehman Octet 1:49
5. Alloy - Steve Lehman Octet 10:12
6. Waves - Steve Lehman Octet 5:38
7. No Neighborhood Rough Enough - Steve Lehman Octet 6:18
8. Living In the World Today (Gza Transcription) - Steve Lehman Octet 3:17
Travail, Transformation, and Flow
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Esperanza Spalding: Chamber Music Society (2010)

Centuries ago, long before the advent of radio or recording technology, chamber music was the music for the masses - the music in which people from nearly every segment of society could find meaning and relevance. A decade into the 21st century, Esperanza Spalding - the bassist, vocalist and composer who first appeared on the jazz scene in 2008 - takes a contemporary approach to this once universal form of entertainment with Chamber Music Society.
Backed by drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and pianist Leo Genovese - and inspired by the classical training of her younger years - Esperanza creates a modern chamber music group that combines the spontaneity and intrigue of improvisation with sweet and angular string trio arrangements. The result is a sound that weaves the innovative elements of jazz, folk and world music into the enduring foundations of classical music.
"So much of my early musical experience was spent playing chamber music on the violin, and it's a form of music that I've always loved," says Esperanza. "I was very inspired by a lot of classical music, and chamber music in particular. I'm intrigued by the concept of intimate works that can be played and experienced among friends in an intimate setting. So I decided to create my version of contemporary chamber music, and add one more voice to that rich history."
Chamber Music Society is a place where connoisseurs of classical music and jazz devotees - and fans of other musics as well - can find common ground. The recording offers a chamber music for modern times - one that brings together people of different perspectives and broadens their cultural experience, just as it did in an earlier age.
Esperanza first took the world by storm in 2008 with her self-titled debut recording that spent more than 70 weeks on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. Two years later, she continues to push the boundaries of jazz and explore the places where it intersects with other genres. Co-produced by Esperanza and Gil Goldstein, Chamber Music Society surrounds Esperanza with a diverse assembly of musicians. At the core are pianist Leo Genovese, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and percussionist Quintino Cinalli. The string trio is comprised of violinist Entcho Todorov, violist Lois Martin, cellist David Eggar and Gretchen Parlato on voice. The great Milton Nascimento also makes a guest appearance on one track.
This is the work of a brilliant young musical talent who isn't afraid to challenge the limits of jazz and its relationship to other forms of musical expression. Chamber Music Society is the first of two current Esperanza projects. Radio Music Society, set for release in the spring of 2011, features an exciting new repertoire of funk, hip-hop, and rock elements fused into songs that are free from genre. "I'm confident that this music will touch people," she says of Chamber Music Society. "We all want to hear sincerity and originality in music, and anyone can recognize and appreciate when love and truth are transmitted through art. No matter what else has or hasn't been achieved on this recording, those things are definitely a part of this music. Those are the things I really want to deliver."
1. Little Fly 3:33
2. Knowledge Of Good And Evil 7:59
3. Really Very Small 2:44
4. Chacarera 6:40
5. Wild Is The Wind 5:37
6. Apple Blossom 6:02
7. As A Sprout 0:41
8. What A Friend 4:54
9. Winter Sun 6:48
10. Inútil Paisagem 4:38
11. Short And Sweet 5:52 \
Chamber Music Society
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The Wynton Marsalis Quintet & Richard Galliano: From Billie Holiday to Edith Piaf: Live in Marciac (2010)

In the southwest of France in August 2008, American trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and French accordionist Richard Galliano teamed up on a musical tribute to Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf at the Jazz in Marciac Festival. The challenge was to translate the music of two legendary singers into instrumental versions without the benefit of voices or lyrics. Marsalis and Galliano surmounted that challenge with nine artful arrangements that are striking in their rhythmic variety. From the dizzying waltz tempo of La Foule to the infectious swing of Them There Eyes to the haunting performance of Strange Fruit, the magic of this concert has been faithfully captured in sound as well as in video through a special bonus DVD and is a must-have item for serious jazz collectors and casual listeners alike.
01. La Foule
02. Them There Eyes
03. Padam...Padam
04. What a Little Moonlight Can Do
05. Billie
06. Sailboat In the Moonlight
07. L'homme a La Moto
08. Strange Fruit
09. La Vie En Rose
From Billie Holiday To Edith Piaf :Live In Marciac CD+DVD
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Helmet Of Gnats: High Street (2010)

Those who say jazz is dead must only look harder. I suppose it isn’t as popular to the greater whole of humanity as it used to be, but neither is prog rock, and I honestly feel that both benefited from such a change. A Helmet of Gnats is part of that subgenre of jazz known as fusion that some prog fans consider inside the sphere of Prog (see what I did there?) I can’t say I agree with that when discussing the subgenre’s early history, but at the moment a lot of such bands are creating a true fusion of prog rock and jazz.
One of those is, obviously, a Helmet of Gnats, or else I would have wasted that entire paragraph talking about something completely unrelated. A Hog (as I shall refer to the band as, because I find it to be a hilarious acronym) is a band that consists of Berkley College of music grads (and dropouts, a la Dream Theater) from Connecticut, USA.
They play an eclectic range of jazz styles, going from Return to Foreveresque light synth solos to heavy guitar jams something like Mahavishnu Orchestra, and I even hear bits that sound similar to The Tangent and Van Der Graaf Generator. Usually though it doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever heard before, and I imagine it only sounds similar to Corea because they use similar sounding instrument settings. The musicianship is very tight and virtuosic (they are Berkley grads, after all), and I can find nothing to complain about, no matter how hard I try (and I try pretty damn hard). Any true fan of jazz or jazz fusion should definitely get this album immediately; I can promise you will be delighted. If not, well, what are you gonna do, punch me?
Tsunami – 11:00 – The first track of four begins with a delightfully melodic guitar intro, which is completely misleading given the name, but it moves after a minute into a moderately energetic guitar/organ duet. This track is mostly guitar driven after the end of that, with an almost funky blueslike melody throughout. A few minutes toward the end there’s an excellent synth solo, before the guitar comes back to dominate. By the end the track begins to live up to its name and builds in intensity faster and faster. I must say I generally prefer my jazz albums to begin with something that has a little more “oomph”, but this does quite nicely regardless.
Tin Whiskers – 10:26 – If Tsunami was guitar-dominated, Tin Whiskers is certainly keyboard-dominated. Lots of excellent stuff here, Corea-style electric piano, hammonds, mellotrons, you name it. The bass-work is also quite funky, and definitely adds to the piece. There’s a sort of groove I can get into when I listen to REALLY good jazz piano, and I feel it with this track. Excellently done. Later on, however, there’s an excellent guitar solo that gives me the same groovy sensation. I feel like I’m betraying jazz piano in saying so, though. I hope it will forgive me.
Dozer – 12: 43 – Like Tsunami, the track name is not fitting at all. It certainly wouldn’t put me to sleep, it’s too enjoyable for that. Dozer is very melodic in the beginning, probably to trick the listener into thinking it IS supposed to be a “dozer”, but the drumming heats up a bit a little before the quarter mark, just as some more of that wonderful piano-work comes in. A little after that, it gets a bit heavy, and we get a very intense guitar/keyboard duet. The rest of the track is rather fast, but not necessarily heavy, except in sections.
High Street – 30:11 – Oh dear, they’re really marching into the realm of prog with this one. A half-hour-long epic, replete with dynamic sections and completely different themes competing with each other. In the band’s entire discography, this is the track that seems to have the most influence from Return to Forever. I just hear it a lot, what can I say. I would say that is the reason it’s my favorite, though not to say the band is simply imitating, they create a cosmic elegance of their own, even if they might borrow some of Chick Corea’s. I say so I don’t have to say it’s my favorite track just because it’s a half hour long, ha! There’s too much to discuss about this track, and I don’t want to bore anyone with the details. Buy the album and listen to it for yourself! -
1. Tsunami - 11:00
2. Tin Whiskers - 10:26
3. Dozer - 12:43
4. High Street - 30:11
Chris Fox – guitars
Matthew Bocchino – keyboards
Wayne Zito – bass
Mark Conese – drums, percussion
High Street
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Afro Cuban All Stars: Step Forward - The Next Generation (2005)

The Afro-Cuban All Stars are back with a bold new statement for the future. They look boldly toward the horizon with their fourth release, Step Forward: The Next Generation. As the best-publicized "multi-generational" group in the genre, the All Stars may have the best claim of knowledge for what is to come, housing both living legends and tomorrow's heavy hitters. However, the generally mellow timbre of the record would suggest that perhaps the leadership of the group is not looking to the horizon for inspiration, but watching the sunset. The groove of the record is confident and funky, and at times very swinging. However, the boastful title may mislead loyal fans. There are moments that feel distinctly like a walk down memory lane, not through the blistering-hot creative forge. That said, leader Juan de Marcos González has a playlist that is sure to please, packed with delightful musical moments. The record is a tapestry of styles that have found their way through the Cuban transom, including the sensual bolero "Preludio y Fuga," the stately danzon "Glicy's Mood," and "Addimu a Chango," a funky disco/songo mix. Though the Afro-Cuban All Stars clearly don't have their ear to the street or finger on the pulse of the next generation, they do what they always have, and they do it quite well. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, All Music Guide
1 3:07
2 Adivinador 5:36
3 Barbaridad 4:50
4 Lo Dicen Todas 4:15
5 Addimu a Chango 6:31
6 Glicy's Mood 5:10
7 Preludio y Fuga 3:43
8 Esperanza 5:05
9 A Maria le Gusta 4:11
10 El Bolero de Juan Carlos 4:24
11 On the Road Again 5:12
12 Elegia a Ruben Gonzalez 9:16
David Suarez - Clarinet, Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor)
Orestes Valido - Sax (Alto)
Tamara Castaneda - Vibraphone
Alex Wright - Photography
Bernard Lavilliers - Composer
Luis Alemañy - Trumpet
Feliciano Arango - Bass (Electric)
Adel González - Bongos, Conga, Bata Drums
Antonio Leal - Trombone
Edesio Alejandro - Arranger
David Alfaro -Piano, Keyboards, Producer, Arranger
Yaure Muñiz - Trumpet
Julito Padrón - Trumpet
Policarop "Polo" Tamayo - Flute
Kerry DeBruce - Art Direction, Design
Gliceria Abreu - Executive Producer
Juan Carlos Marin - Trombone, Arranger, Composer
Tirso Duarte - Piano, Arranger, Composer
Raul Gutierrez S- ax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor)
Juan de Marcos - Arranger, Performer, String Arrangements, Mixing, Tres, Engineer, Composer, Producer
Step Forward: Next Generation
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Paquito D'Rivera presents 40 Years Cuban Jam Session (1993)

Cuban Jam Sessions at it's best. Paquito's guest musicians include Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros, Juan Pablo Torres, Rene Toledo, Jesus Caunedo, Juanito Marquez, Pucho Escalante, Israel "Cachao" Lopez and many others.
01. Descarga Para Banda Y Combo (composed by Enrique "Kike" Hernandez) - 5:22
02. Descarga '93 (composed by Israel "Cachao" Lopez, 1993, conducted by Paquito D'Rivera) - 6:47
03. Bolero Medley: Mi Mejor Cancion (composed by Jose Antonio Mendez, 1950) - 4:25
04. Bolero Medley: Ayer La Vi Llorar Novia Mia (composed by Jose Antonio Mendez, 1950) - 5:20
05. Fifty/Fifty (composed and conducted by Juanito Marquez) - 3:10
06. Despojo (composed by Leopoldo "Pucho" Escalante, 1988) - 6:12
07. Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado (What a difference a day makes) (composed by Maria Grever) - 3:50
08. Guaguanjira (composed and conducted by Jesus Caunedo, 1993) - 3:10
09. Una Tarde En Alamar (composed by Jesus "Chucho" Valdes, arranged and conducted by EditoMartinez) - 6:09
10. Tres Tristes Tigres (composed by Paquito D'Rivera, 1993) - 4:46
11. Lorenzo's Wings (composed by Paquito D'Rivera) - 3:33
Paquito D'Rivera (1, 3, 4, 6-solo, 8-2nd solo, 9, 11) - clarinet (1, 3, 4, 9, 11), alto-saxophone (1, 3, 6, 8) , flute (9)
Jesus Caunedo (6, 8) - alto- (6, 8), tenor- (8), baritone-saxophone (8)
Jose "Combo" Silva (7, 8-1st solo) - tenor-saxophine
Tata Palau (1, 6) - piccolo flute (1), tenor-saxophone (6)
Israel "Cachao" Lopez (2, 7, 10, 11) - double bass
Waldemar Gomes jr (2) - violin
Alfredo Perez (1, 6)
Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros (2, 6) - trumpet
Juan Pablo Torres (1, 6-solo)
Leopoldo "Pucho' Escalante (6) - trombone
Carlos Gomez (3, 4) - vocals, guitar
Rene Toledo (1, 5, 8, 11) - guitar
Juanito Marquez (5) - guitar, cowbell
Nicky Orta (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10)
Enrique "Kike" Hernandez (10) - electric bass
Mike Orta (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11) - piano
Armandito Romeu (3, 4) - vibes
Edito Martinez (9) - synthesizers
Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez (1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11) - drums (1, 6, 9, 10, 11), clave (2, 8)
Rogelio "Yeyito" Rivero (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) - drums (3, 4, 7, 8), timbales (1, 2, 5, 8, 9), batas (itotele) (6), percussion (10)
Victor Valdes (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10) percussion, batas (iya) (6)
Rigo Herrera (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) - percussion, congas (6, 11), bongos (10), maracas (7)
Andy Garcia (7, 10) - congas
40 Years of Cuban Jam Session
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Hilario Durán and latin Jazz Big Band: From the Heart (2006)

This album is dedicated "to all the great Cuban conductors that I have had the opportunity to work with: Rafael Somavilla, Armando Romeu, Adolfo Guzman, Tony Taño, Rembert Egües, and Germán Pifferrer among others. Dedicated as well to Ernesto Lecuona, Lilí Martínez, Antonio María Romeu, Peruchín, Richard Egües, Chucho Valdés and all the other great composers, arrangers and musicians of the first order who inspired and pushed me to grow in my career. This recording is a tribute to you." -- Hilario Durán
1. Mambo Influenciado - 5:20
2. From the Heart - 6:35
3. Habanera in Spain - 5:45
4. Angel Eyes - 4:25
5. Paq Man - 5:45
6. T'Dot Cha Cha Cha - 6:05
7. Moon Face Again - 5:34
8. Rumba for Chano - 1:22
9. Blem Blem Blem - 4:42
10. Farewell - 7:10
alto sax, clarinet: Paquito D'Rivera
drums: Horacio "El Negro" Hernández"
piano: Hilario Durán
bass, consiglieri: Roberto Occhipinti
guitar: Rob Piltch
timbales: Rosendo "Chendy" León
congas, bongó, batá, güiro: Joaquín Hidalgo
trumpet: Alexis Baró, Alex Kundakcioglu,
Brian Okane, Jason Logue
alto sax: John Johnson, Luis Denis, Vern Dorge
tenor sax: Quinsin Nachoff, Jeff King
baritone sax: Perry White, Pol Coussee
trombone: Alistair Kay, Phil Gray, William Carn
bass trombone: Colin Murray
vocals: Dione Taylor
strings: Recorded in Moscow with the Globalis Orchestra, conducted by Roberto Occhipinti
From The Heart
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Interactivo: Cubanos Por El Mundo (2010)

The ensamble Interactivo, on Saturday 6th March 2010, presented their last CD “Cubanos por el mundo” with a great concert at Miramar Theatre of La Habana. “Cubanos por el mundo” wants to be a tribute to all the Cubans living around the world.
Interactivo was founded on 2001 and within few years it turned out to be the most interesting musical expression of contemporary fusion Cuban music, embracing many different genres such as, jazz, pop, dancing music, etc. Rather than a formally constituted band, Interactivo is a grouping of individual professional instrumentalists and vocalists who consider Interactivo as a stage where they can freely experiment their musical creativity working together. The pianist and musical arranger Roberto Carcasses is both manager and member of the group. At present, Carcasses is having a great influence on modern Cuban music and has obtained great acknowledgements for his work. Famous artists contributed to some pieces of this nice Album “Cubanos por el mundo” among which there are Santiago Feliu, Francis del Rio and Descemer. Their first CD “Goza pepillo” was published on 2005 and had immediately a great success. The Album won the Gran Premio Cubadisco 2006, receiving the same acknowledgement of the Album “Cancionero cubano” of the famous pianist Chucho Valdes. Always in the same contest, Interactivo, constituted by an average of 30-year-olds, was able to achieve the first places for the categories of Fusion and First Opera.
01- Tocando mientras llueve
02- Chica cubana
03- Chiqui chaca (Cadaver exquisito)
04- Que ya no hay amor
05- Samba de los cotuntos
06- Que no pare el pare
07- Rumba contigo
08- Salí de mi casa un día (Jana)
09- Para alegrarte el corazón
10- Cubanos por el mundo
11- Lluvia de sentimiento
Cubanos por el Mundo
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Enrico Pieranunzi Trio: The Chant of Time (2003)

Enrico Pieranunzi (born December 5, 1949) is an Italian jazz pianist. He fuses classical technique with jazz. He has performed with, among others, Frank Rosolino, Sal Nistico, Kenny Clarke, Johnny Griffin, Chet Baker, Joey Baron, Art Farmer, Jim Hall, Marc Johnson, Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Charlie Haden, Mads Vinding, and Billy Higgins. He issued his first LP in 1975. He has performed widely with his own group at European and American jazz festivals. He has also composed several film scores.
In 2006 he started the trans alpine jazz project.
1. Thiaki
2. September Waltz
3. Non Dimenticar...
4. Nefertiti
5. Ein Li Milin
6. Chant Of Time
7. Jitterbug Waltz
8. Very Early
9. The Fool On The Hill
10. You Don't Know What Love Is
11. Un' Alba Diinta Sui Muri
12. Surprise Answer
Chant of Time
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Zaz: Zaz (2010)

The self-titled album debut of Zaz is one of the more exciting French revelations of 2010, boasting a refreshingly unique gypsy jazz style as well as plenty of contemporary pop appeal. Thirty years old at the time of her solo album debut, Zaz is a seasoned vocalist with years of experience as a performer, and her vocals are indeed a wonder to behold. She's a talented jazz vocalist, for sure, and her resemblance to Edith Piaf is striking. In addition to her singing, Zaz is a gifted songwriter credited with either writing or co-writing six of the 11 songs on her debut album. French pop star Raphael is credited with writing three of the remaining songs, "La Fee," "Port Coton," and "Eblouie par la Nuit," and Kerredine Soltani is credited with writing the standout lead single, "Je Veux." Moreover, Raphael is credited with producing four songs on the album: the three that he wrote, plus "Trop Sensible." Alban Sautour, Germain Guyot, and Soltani are also credited with production, and their work is commendable. The gypsy jazz style of the album is tastefully produced, never sounding retro or cliched and, more importantly, never taking anything away from Zaz herself. Moreover, the contributions of four different producers makes for a diverse sound, with the Raphael songs in particular standing out from the others. Clocking in at 11 songs in 39 minutes, Zaz doesn't overstay its welcome and leaves you craving more after the awe-inspiring closing track by Raphael, "Eblouie par la Nuit." Impressive from all standpoints, Zaz is a strong contender for French pop revelation of the year. -- AMG
01. Les Passants (3:33)
02. Je Veux (3:39)
03. Le Long De La Route (3:37)
04. La Fee (2:53)
05. Trop Sensible (3:59)
06. Prends Garde A Ta Langue (3:41)
07. Ni Oui Ni Non (3:31)
08. Port Coton (2:56)
09. J'aime A Nouveau (3:50)
10. Dans Ma Rue (4:40)
11. Eblouie Par La Nuit (2:40)
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tom Harrell: Roman Nights (2010)

Hailed by Newsweek for his pure melodic genius, Harrell is widely recognized as one of the most creative and uncompromising jazz instrumentalists and composers of our time. He is that rare improviser who never resorts to cliche, a talent who seems to have an unlimited reserve of melodic ideas. On ROMAN NIGHTS, Tom Harrell once again exhibits the talent, creativity and touch of genius which led the New York Times, Jazz Times and Entertainment Weekly to unanimously proclaim him "the premier trumpeter of his generation."
Tom Harrell (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Wayne Escoffery (tenor saxophone)
Danny Grissett (piano, Fender Rhodes piano)
Johnathan Blake (drums)
1. Storm Approaching
2. Let the Children
3. Roman Nights
4. Study In Sound
5. Agua
6. Obsession
7. Harvest Song
8. Bird In Flight
9. Year of the Ox
Roman Nights
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Jimmy Cobb Quartet: Cobb's Corner (2007)

The legendary jazz drummer, Jimmy Cobb, is a superb, mostly self-taught musician and is the elder statesman of all of the incredible Miles Davis bands. Jimmy’s inspirational work with Miles, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderly and Co. spanned 1957 until 1963, and included the masterpiece “Kind of Blue”, the most popular jazz recording in history.
On this album he leads a stellar quartet made up of the brilliant trumpeter Roy Hargrove, pianist Ronnie Mathews and bassist Peter Washington. The programme mostly features a selection of standards including “You and the Night and the Music”, “My Romance” and “Lotus Blossom”. This us a recording that would have been less surprising had it been issued in, say, 1960, but seems a minor miracle these days. It features a compatible quartet playing mainly standards with subtlety, sophistication and understated feeling.
The drummer and leader, Jimmy Cobb, is ideally alert and adroit. Roy Hargrove, a trumpeter who often seems like a brilliant soloist in search of a suitable idiom, has seldom sounded more at ease than he does here – creating wonderfully tender versions of “Never Let Me Go” and “My Foolish Heart”. The underrated pianist Ronnie Mathews is on serene form, too. The single-microphone sound-engineering creates the illusion that you are in the middle of the band – which, in this case, is a delightful place to be.
1. You And The Night And The Music
2. My Romance
3. Never Let Me Go
4. John Charles
5. My Foolish Heart
6. I May Be Wrong
7. Lotus Blossom
8. Book’s Bossa
9. Ruby My Dear
10. My Ship
Jimmy Cobb – (drums)
Roy Hargrove – (trumpet)
Ronnie Mathews – (piano)
Peter Washington – (bass)
Cobb's Corner (Hybr)
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Michael Formanek: The Rub & Spare Change (2010)

ECM debut for Michael Formanek, whose formidable bass has propelled groups from the Mingus Big Band to Tim Berne’s Bloodcount and has backed artists as diverse as Chet Baker and Elvis Costello. A bandleader and composer in his own right, he is heard here with some highly-talented colleagues in an outgoing programme of his own pieces, whose unorthodox constructions set up strong solos and fiery group interaction.
Tim Berne - alto saxophone
Craig Taborn - piano
Michael Formanek - double-bass
Gerald Cleaver - drums
1. Twenty Three Neo
2. The Rub And Spare Change
3. Inside The Box
4. Jack’s Last Call
5. Tonal Suite
6. Too Big To Fail
The Rub & Spare Change
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Roy Vogt: Urban Legend (2009)

Roy takes his crack Nashville-based band of Shane Roberts (guitar), Tim McDonald (keys) and Bryon Larrance (drums) into the studio with musical friends Jerry Tachoir (vibes) and Dann Sherrill (percussion). The music takes a journey from the Blues and ECM-style balladry to World Music and Fusion while never losing the melodic compass of Roy's bass lines, melodies and solos.
1.Miss Sippi
3.Urban Legend
5.Amen Corner
7.Weatherman (for Joe Zawinul)
11.The Gables
Urban Legend
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Roy Vogt: Simplicity (2003)

Roy Vogt is a professional electric bass and upright bass player who took up the instrument in Texas at 14, inspired by Jack Bruce, Jack Cassidy, Chris Hillman and Noel Redding. His first mentor, Dallas bassist Ed Garcia, turned him onto the playing of Ray Brown and Stanley Clarke and detoured the young bassist into jazz and fusion. Vogt worked in a variety of Rock, Funk and Country bands in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area until he joined the Texas fusion band Aurora.
This led to gigs opening for Larry Coryell and the LA Express and allowed Vogt to meet and learn from Stanley Clarke, Miroslav Vitous, and Max Bennett. The music of the Dixie Dregs, Mark Egan with Pat Metheny, and Jaco Pastorius led Vogt to the University of Miami Jazz program, where he received the first Masters in Electric Bass Performance awarded in the US in 1980.
In 1980, Vogt moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he has worked with the Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts, country guitarist Jerry Reed, and a host of major label Rock, Country, Contemporary Christian, and Pop acts. He was the staff bassist on Channel 4 magazine (WSMV-NBC) from 1983-1987 and has taught at Belmont University since 1983. He is also involved in the new Nashville Bass Institute.
He also transcribed the Bass Extremes book with the duets of Victor Wooten and Steve Bailey. He has also taught many Nashville-based bassists such as Justin Smith, Mark Golden, Alan O.W. Barnes (though Barnes has since relocated to Atlanta), Rich Brinsfield, Matthew Haussler, Chris Dunn and many others.
Simlicity (2003) is smooth, melodic, adventurous, bass-driven Jazz and Jazz Fusion with the right balance of chops and melody featuring special guests Victor Wooten, Dave Weckl, Chester Thompson, Shane Theriot, Jeff Coffin, Stan Lassiter, T Lavitz and others.
1. Open Spaces
2. Rasta Salad
3. Burnin'
4. Collette (Dee Dee's Tune)
5. NYC
6. Castaneda
7. Where Were You?
8. Curtis
9. Carlos and el Gato
10. Flyte
11. Labyrinth
12. Victorious
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Bendik Hofseth: Metamorphoses (1995)

Norwegian saxophone player Bendik Hofseth first made a name for himself more than twenty years ago when he joined one of the super groups of jazz, the New York-based Steps Ahead. In the 90s he moved on to a diverse solo career that comprised pure pop albums as well as more conceptual outings, shifting between musical genres and expressions as well as language. In recent years he has first and foremost stood forth as a player of the game of culture politics. Because without the political support and regulation there can be no great art, thinks Hofseth, at least in our day when artistic livelihood has been rendered precarious by the digital revolution.
1. 15'th Chapter Ver.1 (3:38) [Bendik Hofseth]
2. Narcissus (:51) [Bendik Hofseth]
3. Pomona and Vertumnus (7:27) [Bendik Hofseth]
4. Ceyx Leaves Alcyone Alone (4:58) [Bendik Hofseth]
5. Storm (3:13) [Bendik Hofseth]
6. Echo (3:45) [Bendik Hofseth]
7. Narcissus and Echo (8:46) [Bendik Hofseth]
8. Hypnos (5:44) [Reidar Skar, Bendik Hofseth]
9. Ceyx and Alcyone To 2 Birds (4:42) [Bendik Hofseth]
10. Pomona and Vertumnus 2 (3:15) [Bendik Hofseth]
11. 15'th Chapter Ver.2 (2:19) [Bendik Hofseth]
Bendik Hofseth: saxphones
Mike Mainieri : vibraphone
Eivind Aarset : guitars
Anders Jormin : bass
Talvin Singh : tablas
Jon Christensen: drums, percussion
Paolo Vinaccia : percussion (on 4,7,8)
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stefano di Battista: Parkers Mood (2004)

Italian saxophonist Stefano di Battista's second release for Blue Note finds him paying tribute to legendary jazz alto saxophonist Charlie Parker. Fittingly titled Parker's Mood, the album is a stellar collection of Parker-penned tracks as well as songs the jazz innovator made famous. Altoist and occasional soprano man di Battista showcases a lithe and brisk feel that often tends toward swiftly percussive bop, especially when tackling such '40s standards as "Salt Peanuts" and "Donna Lee." Joining di Battista here are the always capable rhythm section luminaries of pianist Kenny Barron and drummer Herlin Riley, as well as longtime di Battista compadres bassist Rosario Bonaccorso and trumpeter Flavio Boltro. While the album is a straight-ahead affair, tracks such as "Hot House" and "Congo Blues" benefit from Riley's creative Latin cum second line and impeccable swing, respectively. As such, Parker's Mood is a solid, no-nonsense mainstream jazz affair. ~ Matt Collar
1. Salt Peanuts (D.Gillespie/K.Clarke) 2:49
2. Embraceable You (G.& I.Gershwin ) 9:33
3. Night In Tunisia (D.Gillespie/F.Paparelli) 5:00
4. Parker's Mood (C.Parker) 5:17
5. Confirmation (C.Parker) 5:12
6. Donna Lee (C.Parker) 3:24
7. Laura (D.Raskin/J.Mercer) 6:47
8. Hot House (T.Dameron) 3:58
9. Congo Blues (C.Parker) 2:26
10. Round Midnight (T.Monk) 7:10
Stefano di Battista: alto & soprano saxophone
Kenny Barron: piano (except on track 8)
Rosario Bonaccorso: bass
Herlin Riley: drums
Flavio Boltro: trumpet on tracks 1,3,5,8
Parker's Mood (Edition Standard)
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Steve Lukather: All's Well That Ends Well (2010)

Guitarist, vocalist, composer, producer and arranger, Steve Lukather release his new solo album "All's Well That Ends Well" on October 2010 only in Europe. For over 30 years Lukather has been known as one of the founding members of the multi-million selling band TOTO. He has played on hundreds of albums with the biggest stars and music legends including Van Halen, Whitney Houston, Alice Cooper, George Benson, Rod Stewart and even played guitar on Michael Jackson’s multi-million selling milestone album ‘Thriller’.Along with several Grammy Awards over the years, in April 2010 he received the international Eddy Christiani Award for 33 years of guitar mastership. Lukather showcases in this recording his innate feel for rock and guitar music, along with his songwriting talents. The new album is laden with extraordinary guitar playing performed across some of the best and most emotional songs of Steve’s career.
Fee Waybill of THE TUBES is featured on backing vocals and contributes to some of the co-songwriting with CJ Vanston and Lukather. Other friends come up contibuting background vocals, like Joseph Williams (TOTO), Bernard Fowler (ROLLING STONES), Phil Collen (DEF LEPPARD).
“I’m very excited because I have some great new music,” says Lukather. - “I am trying for a personal best and working very hard on all aspects of music. It’s a journey, that’s for sure.”
To coincide with the release of the album, Steve will embark on a European tour in November that will take in concerts in Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland and England.
The concerts will showcase classics from his all his solo albums, Toto, plus tracks from his new album.
1. Darkness In My World
2. On My Way Home
3. Can't Look Back
4. Don't Say It's Over
5. Flash In The Pan
6. Watching The World
7. You'll Remember
8. Brodie's
9. Tumescent
Steve Lukather - all guitars, lead & bg vocals
CJ Vanston - keyboards, atmospheres
Steve Weingart - keyboards and atmospheres
Carlitos Del Puerto - bass
Eric Valentine - drums
Lenny Castro - percussion
Joseph Williams, Phil Collen (3) (4), CJ Vanston (3) - background voacals
Trev Lukather - power guitar (4)
Tina Lukather - background vocals (1)
Fee Waybill - background vocals (5) (7)
Bernard Fowler - background vocals (1)
Jory Steinberg - background vocals (1) (2) (8)
All's Well That Ends Well
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