French-Oriental Female Ep (2014)

ann sorel cópiaThis Ep is an attempt to present some artists who will enter soon in our galaxy, today will address exclusively two countries: France and Japan. Great arrangers, actresses singers, side B, and even famous ones, (feel free to) leave us a comment and enjoy!

France

1968

Brigitte Fontaine – Je Suis Inadaptée / Est… Folle, 1968 (arr. Jean Claude Vannier)

June 24, 1939 / The diva of French underground music.

Brigitte Fontaine made a series of increasingly strange and eclectic art-pop in the ’70s that gathered a lot of acclaim in France, although she remains obscure to an international audience. Initially, she was an eccentric but accessible pop singer, presenting melodic and orchestrated material, working with (living legend) arranger Jean Claude Vannier; on subsequent records, she got jazzier, and then into avant-gardism and art song, her albums were commendably wide-ranging and erratic.

With an active career and 2013 last release, albums like Est…Folle, Barbara’s Madame, and even less known Jean Constantin’s Le Poulpe, are some of the wonderful panoramas that Vannier conducted throughout the ’70s.

A dreamy arrangement, with delicacy, strong pace and multiple colors!

nicoletta 2 cópia

Nicoletta & Zoo – Dieu Est Negre / Visage, 1970 (arr. Zoo)

April 11, 1944 / Nicole Chappuis-Grisoni

She was considered as part of what is known as the French yé-yé generation heavily influenced by American music, particularly R&B, rock and roll and beat music, mostly known for her version of ‘Mamy Blue’ with her very specific, bluesy voice, she certainly gained a special place in French pop music, with many radio and television appearances, where she had a number of hits in the ’60s and the ’70s.

Her material after the ’70s is somewhat dubious, with that sugar chanson feel, returning to top form from mid-’90s and recently launched Ici Et Ailleurs.

Honestly, these recordings with Zoo are certainly Nicoletta’s best moment, a passionate diva interpretation with an incredible escort by these guys, check it!

ann sorel 2 cópia

Ann Sorel – L’Amour à Plusieurs / Single, 1972 (arr. Jean Claude Vannier)

Ann-Chantal Sorel, 71 years (more info ?). She released a few pairs of singles during the ’60s and ’70s, early on yé-yé and then, precious moments like this magistral one under Vannier’s tutelage. Banned (!) on radio, with a scandalous lyrics from Fréderic Botton, Ann’s sexy voice guides us through an unusual encounter.

Wrapped in a simple deep red cover, this is a fantastic erotica re-discover!

Japan

chinatsu cópia

Chinatsu Nakayama (中山千夏) – 砂漠 (Desert) / Single, 1971

July 13, 1948 / Actress Singer

Former wonder actress, TV personalitysinger and later established writer. She released a few singles during the ’70s and stopped its singer career in early ’00s, to fully devote herself as a writer, human rightscivil and feminist activist.

A B side soul-psych bomb with tons of brass, fuzz and nicely chorus!

rumi koyama 3 cópia

Rumi Koyama (小山ルミ) – 恋人の記念日 / Sasurai No Guitar, 1971

August 11, 1952 / Actress Singer

Another famous actress and Tv star, Rumi released a bit more singles and albums through the ’70s. A swinging one, with western brass, percussion, mellow strings and that Tarantino’s Kill Bill homage. Like Meiko Kaji tunes, expect some more entrances from Rumi Koyama, too, she sings with grace and got a real nice 1971 Lp!

rabi cópia

Rabi Nakayama (中山ラビ) – 夢のドライブ (Drive of a Dream) / Hira Hira, 1974

The one (and only) who helped Yoshiko Sai in his first years, Rabi Nakayama is probably one of the most famous singers from Japan, the female Bob Dylan often called, started its career in early ’70s with a dozen of releases, very active until 2009.

Here she catches a heavier side, with a furious backing band, this is almost a B side in Hira Hira’s album, totally folk-oriented. Even being unknown worldwide, Rabi’s career is pretty solid, with diverse moments and bands, soon she’ll enter here!

Hyvää matkaa!

Blind Woman's Curse, 1970 (Meiko Kaji)
Blind Woman’s Curse, 1970 (Meiko Kaji)

Modrý Efekt (Blue Effect) ‎– Nová Syntéza (New Synthesis) [1971]

Blue Effect

The Czechoslovak New Wave was an artistic movement in cinema which evolved out of the earlier Devětsil movement of the ’30s. Disgruntled with the communist regime that had taken over Czechoslovakia in 1948 coup d’état (!), students of the Film and TV School of The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (also known as FAMU) became the dissenters of their time. Their statement at making films:

‘Make the Czech people collectively aware that they were participants in a system of oppression and incompetence which had brutalized and bureaucratized them all.’

This was partly because of a cultural and political reform that the country had undergone since 1962. During this time the filmmakers of the Czech new wave enjoyed a state-supported film industry, an interest in both domestic/international market (special interest in the USA) and relative artistic freedom.

Trademarks of the movement are long unscripted dialogues, dark and absurd humor, and the casting of non-professional actors. The films touched on themes which for earlier filmmakers in the communist countries had barely managed to avoid the objections of the censor: playful observation, visual poetry, biting sarcasm, gentle humanism, mocking absurdism, tender eroticism, and formal experimentalism.

The Czechoslovak New Wave differed from the French New Wave in that it usually held stronger narratives, and as these directors were the children of a nationalized film industry, they had greater access to studios and state funding.

The Fireman's Ball , 1967
The Fireman’s Ball, 1967

As Alexander Dubček came to power over the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia with plans to present ‘socialism with a human face’ through reform and liberalization (Prague Spring), the Soviet Union and their Warsaw Pact allies invaded to snuff out reform. The movement came to an abrupt end and Miloš Forman and Jan Němec fled the country; those who remained faced censorship of their work.

Notable directors: Miloš Forman, Věra Chytilová, Ivan Passer, Jaroslav Papoušek, Jiří Menzel, Jan Němec, Jaromil Jireš, Vojtěch Jasný, Evald Schorm and Slovak directors Dušan Hanák, Juraj Herz, Juraj JakubiskoŠtefan Uher amid others.

The Troupe
The Troupe

Let’s go to our artist:

One of the most popular Czech Rock bands with links to almost every known prog/jazz from the country, (the) Blue Effect from Prague were formed in 1968 by guitarist Radim Hladík and singer Vladimír Mišík, both from The Matadors.

The line-up included also bassist Jiří Kozel, drummer Vlado Čech and guitarist Miloš Svoboda, who quit the next year. In 1970 they released their psych/blues-influenced debut ‘Meditace’ on Supraphon along with the jazz-rock album ‘Coniunctio’ in collaboration with legendary ensemble Jazz Q.

The Matadors
The Matadors

At this time Mišík left to join Flamengo, he was replaced by singer/keyboardist Lešek Semelka. Renamed to Modrý Efekt they released their second work ‘Nova Syntezá’ in 1971 on Panton with the outstanding help of the Czechoslovakian Jazz Orchestra. The album shows the band taking a more artistic approach on their music, leaving the psych influences of their debut for a much more jazz-oriented sound.

The ’70s were their most active period, with at least nine studio albums, progressing to fusion/prog tinges, being its last release in 1981. Since 2010 the band was reactivated by Radim Hladík (only original member) and has a very active career.

Modrý Efekt
Modrý Efekt

Let’s go to our album:

An incredible Brass Orchestra with a sharp rock group coming from the Eastern side of Europe. The compositions are long and as the album unfolds, Hladík shows an incredible jazzy background on his guitar solos. The Czechoslovakian Jazz Orchestra seems often the leading force of the album: tons of melodic introductions, interventions, and counterpoints performed by a great mass of brass musicians!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Směr Jihovýchod and Blues Modrého Efektu.

Jauku Ceļojumu!

Tracks Include:

A1 Má Hra – My Game (Radim Hladík)

A2 Směr Jihovýchod – Southeast Bound (Lešek Semelka)

A3 Popínavý Břečťan – Clinging Ivy (Radim Hladík)

B1 Blues Modrého Efektu – Blue Effect Blues (Kamil Hála, Vlastimil Hála)

B2 Nová Syntéza – New Synthesis (Kamil Hála, Vlastimil Hála)

Credits

  • Bass Guitar: Jiří Kozel
  • Drums (Uncredited): Vlado Čech
  • Guitar: Radim Hladík
  • Orchestra, Performer: Jazzový Orchestr Československého Rozhlasu
  • Performer (Skupina): Modrý Efekt
  • Piano: Lešek Semelka
  • Trombone: Ladislav Pikart, Miroslav Koželuh
  • Trumpet: Václav Týfa

Conductor, Arranged: Kamil Hála

Artwork: Jaroslav Fišer

Photography: Alexandr Janovský

Engineer (Zvuková Režie): Milan Papírník

Recording Supervisor (Hudební Režie): Vlastimil Hála

Producer: Dr. Oskar Jelínek

Panton ‎– 11 0288

Alphonse Mucha, 1896
Alphonse Mucha, 1896

Eastern Female Mixtape ~ 2014

Prague Dreamers, 1968

After three Mixtapes last year, I was already missing a new one, and you? Whenever we try to do it, we try to leave a distinct mark either in the choice of artists or the era approached, well, this time we’ll leave the extensive biographies and contexts aside, these artists should appear soon in our galaxy, along with their full contents.

So, let’s get right to it: our dámské and its songs.

Halina Frąckowiak

1969
1969

Halina Frąckowiak & SBB – W Powszednie Dni / Geira (1977) / Polskie N. Muza

Halina Frąckowiak – Ide Dalej / Idę (1974) / Polskie Nagrania Muza

aka Sonia Sulin, born April 10, 1947, Poznán, Poland.

Singer, Composer, and Songwriter. Ex-Grupa ABC!

Kati Kovács

70's

Kati Kovács & Juventus – Add Már Uram Az Esöt! / Single (1972) / Pepita

Kati Kovács & Locomotiv GT – Szólj Rám, Ha Hangosan Énekelek / Kovacs, Kati (1974) / Pepita

Born Kovács Katalin, October 25, 1944, Verpelét, Hungary. Singer, Actress, Lyricist, Songwriter. Probably the most famous singer of Hungary, with dozens of recorded albums, awards, and presentations indoor/abroad, international recognition and a very active career until today. Hungarian musical critics have praised her raspy and strong voice, calling her ‘The Voice of Hungary’!

Marie Rottrová

70's

Marie Rottrová – Tisíc Tváří Lásky / Single (1971) / Supraphon

Marie Rettrová – Poslední Hemingwayova Fotka / Pěšky Po Dálnici (1977) / Supraphon

Born November 13, 1942OstravaHrušov, Czech RepublicSinger, Pianist, Composer, TV Presenter. The so-called Lady Soul!

Ex-The Majestic and Flamingo!

Marta Kubišova

1969, Clip
1969, Clip

Marta Kubišová – Tak Dej Se K Nám A Projdem Svět / Single (1969) / Supraphon

Marta Kubišová – Svlíkám Lásku / Single (1969) / Supraphon

Born November 1, 1942, České Budějovice, Czech Republic. Singer, Actress and TV Presenter. She was the most popular female pop singer in Czechoslovakia in the late ’60s. In 1967 she won Zlatý Slavík award (Golden Nightingale). Her song ‘Prayer for Marta’ became a symbol of national resistance against the occupation of Warsaw Pact troops in 1968. During the Prague Spring, she recorded over 200 (?!!) single records and one LP, Songy a Balady in 1969, which was immediately banned from stores. In 1970, the government falsely accused her of making pornographic photographs leading to a ban from performing in the country until 1989. (!)

Ex-Golden Kids!

Sarolta Zalatnay

sarolta zalatnay

Sarolta Zalatnay & Skorpio – Hadd Mondjam El / Same (1973) / Pepita

Sarolta Zalatnay & Metro – Zold Borostyán / …Ha Fiú Lehetnék (1970) / Qualiton

aka Charlotte Sachert, December 14, 1947, Budapest, Hungary. Famous controversial Singer, Actress, Writer, already known from previous posts here in ‘IM’check out our exclusive. Known as the Hungarian Janis Joplin!

We have an interesting study about the Rock development in the Eastern Bloc, from our homonyms friends which eventually will form the basis for other posts.

Be charmed by these mighty girls and bon vitage!

Metró, 1969
Metró, 1969

Mimis Plessas (Μίμης Πλέσσας) – Greece Goes Modern (1967)

capa cópia

Greece. Hardly any other pop genre in Europe has been influenced so deeply by its own musical history. No wonder if you take into consideration the numerous dramatic social and political events the country had to endure in the 20th century:

WW I and IIGreco-Turkish War (1919-1922), The Greek Civil War (1946-49) and the dictatorship of dictators Ioannis Metaxas (in the thirties) and Papadópoulos (in the sixties) had a huge impact on the music singers and songwriters.

Basically, Greek popular music falls apart in two separate genres:

The Rembétiko / Éntekhno genre is the more traditional of the two, a sort of Greek blues with songs filled with drama, passion, romance, and bitterness.

On the other hand, the more up-tempo (‘positive’) genre called Laïkó (later Laïká), it incorporates more international known music styles but they always seem to slip in a typical Greek instrument or arrangement. For a foreigner, it sometimes is hard to distinguish whether a song is Rembétiko or Laïkó and you probably have to be Greek to hear the difference! ας πάει στην ιστορία μας?

Greek People's Liberation Army
Greek People’s Liberation Army

The basis of Greek pop music is the Heptanesian Cantatha, Athenian Cantatha and (aforementioned) Rebetika. The cantatha style was common during the period 1870-1930 where they were performed on the revues and operettas that dominated the Greek theatres. The cantatha culture has a similarity to the cantautore tradition in Italy. These Athenian songs, despite their original connection to a total dramatic work, also achieved to become hits as independent demotic songs.

Rebétiko (ρεμπέτικο) evolved from traditions of the urban poor, such as refugees, drug-users, criminals and itinerants, the earliest musicians were scorned by mainstream society. In 1923, many ethnic Greeks from the Asia Minor in Anatolia fled to Greece as a result of the Greco-Turkish War, many of these immigrants were highly educated, and included songwriter Vangelis Papazoglou and Panayiotis Toundas.

Rebétiko Trio, 1930
Rebétiko Trio, 1930

Its popularity increased until embraced by the majority of the working class, reaching its classical period in the 40’s/50’s. The principal instruments of Rebétiko were the bouzouki, baglama, and guitar. The classic songs were distinguished for their power of expression and passion. Within the music style, one can detect the contributions/influence of the folk song, Byzantine chant, and Eastern music.

After the end of WWII and the Greek Civil War, Greece entered a period of relative economic prosperity and the middle class, which had suffered through extreme poverty during the ’40s, began living more comfortably, a fact that was bound to be reflected in its choice of entertainment. These social and economic improvements transformed the music: its themes, structure, and visibility.

Along with the ’50s, two dominant styles for Greek pop became clear. On one hand, you had the Rembétika, a softer more western approach to Rebétiko. On the other, you had Laïkó music, that became the mainstream music of Greece during the coming decades, with love and relationships figuring prominently as key themes.

Cretan Traditional Dance
Cretan Traditional Dance

Let’s go to our artist:

Mimis Plessas was born on 12 October 1924 in Athens. He attended the Lycee Leonin, studied at the Physics Department of the University of Athens and then went to America to pursue his studies. At a young age, he became the first solo piano in Greek Radio. In 1952, it won the first prize of music at the University of Minnesota. He then began working with composition and since 1956 as a conductor and composer.

Its artistic and compositional activity covers the last 50 years, all areas of music: theater, cinema, radio, and television, having to his credit 104 movies and 70 plays (!!). He has conducted numerous major orchestras around the world, such his offer in Paris in 1958, Edinburgh and the U.S. in 1964 and 1965 respectively.

60's
60’s

The maestro was also the producer of the historic radio show ‘In 30 Seconds’ over the decades of 60’s/70’s. He equally participated in most international and Greek juries of music festivals, artistic events and such. Lastly, Plessas is a member of the Greek Society of Playwrights, Composers and Songwriters, as well as numerous honorifics awards. He is currently retired and lives in Athens.

Let’s go to our album:

In 1967 he released what is often mentioned as ‘the holy grail’ of Greek jazz music. This was a jazz fusion based on Greek traditional folk songs, the outcome was a fresh jazz, beat, psychedelic, funky, samba, bossa nova (!!) orchestration that re-introduced the old material, improvised and suggested a new and very interesting sound.

Originally recorded in 1966 for the needs of an advertising broadcast (‘Fix’ beer!), the 10 tracks of the album are masterfully treated in a modern way by Mimis Plessas and his band, the Orbiters. Playing ultra-loungy, with some fuzzy guitar overtones, they follow a jazzy direction without losing their folk originality!

Newly Maestro
Newly Maestro

The ‘IM’ Highlights are for: O Menoussis and Vassilikos一路顺风!

Tracks Include (polytonic, romanized and translated):

A1 Λεμονάκι, Lemonaki (Peloponnesian Dance)

A2 Ο Μενούσης, O Menoussis (Dance of Thrace)

A3 Γυαλό Να Πας, Yalo Na Pas (Dance of Zante)

A4 Καραγκούνα, Karagouna (Thessalian Dance)

A5 Καράβι Απ’ Τη Χίο Karavi Ap’ Ti Hio (Dance of Chios)

B1 Τρία Παιδιά, Tria Pedia (Dance of Volos)

B2 Η Πέρδικα, I Perdika (Dance of Corfu)

B3 Βασσιλικός, Vassilikos (Dance of Epirus)

B4 Καλαματιανό, Kalamatiano (Dance of Kalamata)

B5 Κρητικός, Kritikos (Cretan Dance)

Credits

  • Bass: Andreas Rodousakis
  • Clarinet, Flute: Nikos Guinos
  • Conductor, Arranged By, Liner Notes: Mimis Plessas
  • Cover, Painting, Sleeve, Design: Vassilis Fotopoulos
  • Drums, Percussion: Igor Raniets
  • Electric Guitar: Titos Kaliris
  • Flute, Electric Guitar: Andreas Ortega
  • Orchestra: Orbiters, The
  • Organ [Philicorda]: Mimis Plessas
  • Recorded by: Yannis Smirneos
  • Written by: Traditional

Companies

  • Distributed: Music-box, Martin Th. Gesar S.A.
  • Printed: Ο. Φωτιάδης & Α. Ιωαννίδης

Notes

Dedicated to Eleana and to the newborn Emmeleia.

The original sleeve artwork is by painter and stage designer Vassilis Fotopoulos (Academy Award winner for Art Direction of the film ‘Zorba’)

Pan-Vox (2) ‎– X 33 PV 10101

Santorini View
Santorini View

Vanusa – Vanusa (1969)

capa cópia

As promised, we came back at least for now in a slightly smaller format, we intend to return to the old layout, with historical facts and further analysis in another cycle of our wide galaxy. We will improve the tag system, increase our rotativity (with the same quality) and start bringing exclusive rips, like this wonderful Brazilian gem today.

Vanusa Santos Flores (22/9/1947, Cruzeiro, São Paulo) on its only second LP release is somewhat between romanticism, psychedelia, soul and a bit of experimentalism, Tropicalia like, though their composers aren’t top-notch stars, this is the testament that even Brega (tacky) artists always subjugated by critics and the so-called intelligentsia produced fantastic examples of vanguard inside the commercial musical market (Universal, Sony, Warner, EMI).Psychedelic Diva

Vanusa’s visceral performance throughout the album is simply dazzling, a foxy Janis Joplin on its peak moments, accompanied by a garage band brushstrokes with a beautiful brass and strings arrangements by maestro Portinho.

Radical 1969, post-AI-5 scenario.

Though she appeared with the Jovem Guarda movement, Vanusa circulated freely by all spheres of Brazilian popular music to long-70s, slowed the pace in the ’80s and now in 2014 is up to release a new album in more than 10 years!

Live, 1969
Live, 1969

The ‘IM’ highlights are for Sunny and CaminhemosRelish all spices and शुभ यात्रा!

Tracks Include:

A1 Meu Depoimento
(Fábio / Paulo Imperial)

A2 Que Você Está Fazendo Neste Lugar Tão Frio
(Tom Gomes / Luis Vagner)

A3 O Que É Meu É Teu
(Sílvio Brito)

A4 Teu Regresso
(Fábio / Paulo Imperial)

A5 Espere
(Carlos César / Alexandre Cirus)
              
A6 Hei Sol
(Dom)

B1 Atômico Platônico
(Jean Pierre / Fernandes)

B2 Sunny
(Bobby Hebb)

B3 Eu Sei Viver Sozinha
(Vanusa / Juca)

B4 Hey Joe
(Demétrius)

B5 E Você Não Diz Nada
(Meirecler)

B6 Caminhemos
(Herivelto Martins)

Credits

Coordenador Artístico: Fábio

Diretor Artístico: Alfredo Corleto

Arranjos:  Maestro Portinho

RCA Victor BBL 1505

The Diva, lately
The Diva, lately