Yoshiko Sai – Taiji No Yume (1977) [Repost]

Born on June 22, 1953, at Nara prefecture, Yoshiko Sai since his childhood demonstrated its precocity and many artistic gifts. During her elementary school days, she loved to paint and read all the classics from mythical writer Edogawa Rampo (The Japanese Poe). In junior high school, she was a member of the coral, taking his first lessons in music; by high school, she played (casually) in a folk-rock group.

In 1972 she tried to enter the Kyoto City University of Arts but wasn’t accepted, then she tried the Kyoto Doshisha University where she passed the entrance examination. In May of that year, she was caught by kidney disease, having to spend a year in observation.

Portrait
Portrait

Over this period she would recall:

‘I read a LOT of books from famous novelists, such as Mushitaro Oguri, Yumeno Kyusaku, Juran Hisao, and Yokomizo Masashi. These dark novels made me accept and relax about the disease, my forthcoming production of lyrics and music was strongly tied with this fact.’

After leaving the hospital, she incessantly started to wrote poetry and in 1974 debuted and won a contest at a local radio program. She then received an invitation to play an opening act for Rabi Nakayama concert. Two record companies became interested in her music and after the show, she was contracted by Teichiku Records.

1978 Promo
1978 Promo

Yoshiko Sai recorded four albums in four years, between May 1975 and December 1978, the 2nd (Mikkō) and 3rd (Taiji No Yume) of her releases may be considered more Progressive than Folk. Unfortunately, she abruptly retired from a career at the age of 25 in 1979.

A story told is that Yoshiko may have doubted her talent in music and lost her self-confidence. In recent years, a revival of interest in his music made her come back to record a new album with Jojo Hiroshige, called Crimson Voyage in 2001. Lastly, there’s been some re-releases from its 70s records, unedited live performances and poetry books.

Let’s go to our album:

In 1977 she moved to the Nippon Columbia company, and on September 25, she announced Taiji No Yume (Fetus Dream). Heavily inspired by the pre-war oddball and ghostly neurosurgeon doctor and writer Yumeno Kyusaku, hence the strange atmosphere this disc abides in. Quite dark in the overall texture, at the time of this she was merely 24 years old. Totally unknown for non-japanese listeners, this album is really a must for people into some more advanced Japanese historical recordings.

Melancholic Breeze
Melancholic Breeze

With utterly beautiful arrangements by the legendary Yuji Ohno, this is certainly my favorite album from her. A kaleidoscope of genres that spring from the depths of the inner mind: folk, jazz, bossa nova, flamenco, prog, rock and so. Yoshiko Sai plays the role of each and invites us to another dimension of reality, the “IM’ highlights are for:

Aoi Glass-Dama, with nice synths and strings, this rock ballad has an interesting crescendo, delivering an amazing emotional interpretation. And Taiji No Yume, a 9-minute epic, simply one of the best Japanese songs of all time, without exaggeration, I’ll let the words and adjectives to you, do not miss Yoshiko Sai’s haunting realms. 良い旅!

Tracks Include:

A1 ヒターノ (Gitano)

A2 アルハンブラの青い壜 (Alhambra No Aoi Bin)

A3 ある晴れた夜 (Aru Hareta Yoru)

A4 波止場 (Hatoba)

A5 春の夢 (Haru No Yume)

A6 海の沈黙 (Umi No Chinmoku)

B1 青いガラス玉 (Aoi Garasudama)

B2 遍路 (Henro)

B3 白昼夢 (Hakuchūmu)

B4 胎児の夢 (Taiji No Yume)

All songs and lyrics by Yoshiko Sai

Blow Up LX-7021A /// 25/09/1977

Musicians

Drums: Yasushi Ichihara

Electric & Acoustic Guitar: Tsunehide Matsuki

Gut Guitar: Kiyoshi Sugimoto

Electric Bass: Kenji Takamizu (1,2,4,5,9,10) /// Akira Okazawa (3,6,7,8)

Acoustic Piano: Masahiko Sato

Electric Piano, Solina, Spinet & Synthesizer: Yuji Ohno

Percussion: Lary Sunaga

Arranged (strings, brass, instrumental) by Yuji Ohno

Credits

Directed by: Shun Ohki

Produced by: Akira Sakajima

Engineer: Tomiji Iyobe

Art Director: Kazuhiro Saito

Cover Illustration: Yoshiko Sai

Illustration: Tsuyoshi Takigaito

Photography by: Jin Komine

Layout: Takashi Eakabayashi

Taiji No Yume Illustration
Taiji No Yume Illustration

Martha Elefteriadu ‎– Kresby Tuší (1980)

Welcome back to you all! Needless to say, how thrill I am today with this spectacular album, a real kaleidoscope of genres brought you by one of the greatest artists in former Czechoslovakia. Getting to know her better, unfortunately, I noticed that this album was an odd point of alternation in its career, founded basically on Soul Beat and then Pop Folk.

Always side by side with her beloved sister, this unique solo entry has brought us so many colors that I wonder why she gave up on this very bold path. Anyhow, we present this one that should be revered as one of the milestone records from former Czechoslovakia and as if an entire constellation of musicians was not enough, its richness is present, in the arrangements, special participations, multiple orchestras, and lush atmosphere!

Does it look good to you? Because it is much more than you can imaginePřipravit Se!

Let’s go to our artist:

The Elefteriadu’s – the 50s

Martha Elefteriadu (September 12, 1946 Bulkes, Yugoslavia) is a Czech singer of Greek origin, half of the duo Martha a Tena, together with her sister Tena. Their family emigrated from Greece because of the Greek Civil War and settled in 1950 in former Czechoslovakia. Their mother died while they were children, so they grew up in orphanages, she spent her childhood with her sister, in many children‘s homes (more than five, actually), which were reserved for Greek refugees, including one in Ivančice.

At the end of the 1960s, the sisters met a guitarist Aleš Sigmund from band Vulkán, who helped them create strong creative and musical foundations. They worked in Vulkán between 1966 and 1970, partly with another sibling couple, Hana and Petr Ulrych.

Martha A Tena – 1969

Their first records are from 1968, in 1970 they released their first LP record with Panton Records Dál Než Slunce Vstává. They quickly established themselves in Czech Pop music also collaborating with many notable artists such as Skupina Aleše Sigmunda, Bob Frídl, Gustav Brom Orchestra, Pavel Novák, and Jiří Suchý. The gals managed to continuously be active reaching stardom throughout the 1970s with countless participations and prizes at festivals, musicals, plays, TV shows, and tours not only within Czechoslovakia. (!)

Live, in the 70s

By the end of the decade, they had already released more than 30 albums and compacts! Ranging between pop-folk and Greek music. Martha later studied psychology, while at the same time devoted yourself professionally to music, since then, both sisters have been the stars of Czech popular music. Martha and Tena enriched Czech culture with their southern temperament and Greek spontaneity. At present, they focus mainly on the interpretation of Greek folk songs, the teaching of Greek dances, cuisine, books and occasionally performing, their latest album came out in 2005, besides greatest hits records and such.

Let’s go to our album:

Sister Love

How to understand a record that did not have a tour, who faced major problems with the censorship, and with modest participation in sales charts could bear the 1981 album of the year by Melodia magazine? Despite all these, (at least the critics seem to get it by the time) Kresby Tuší (Ink Drawings) remains intact by the passage of time thanks to its multiple composers, lyricists, orchestras (!) and gala participation of musicians like Michael Kocáb (arranger), but also by Dežo Ursiny, Vladimír Mišík, Vladimír Merta and Oskar Petr.

Martha delivers us a fabulous variation of art-rock, jazz, fusion, bossa nova, funk and more. It feels lush, dark and dense all over, but it also has its (brief) sunny moments.

The ‘IM’ highlights are Hrál Sis Hrál and Vítám Slunce Ranní.

Tracks Include:

A1 Dvě Kresby Tuší I.
Lyrics By: Pavel Kopta
Music By: Michael Kocáb

A2 Měla Jsem Vždycky Smůlu
Lyrics By: Pavel Kopta
Music By: Dežo Ursiny

A3 Proměna
Lyrics By: Pavel Kopta
Music By: Vladimír Mišík

A4 Hrál Sis Hrál
Lyrics By: Pavel Fiala
Music By: Pavel Větrovec

A5 Výlet Po Řece
Lyrics By: Pavel Kopta
Music By: Michael Kocáb

A6 Kde? Kdy? Já A Ty
Written By: Vladimír Merta

B1 Mám Ráda Běh
Lyrics By: Pavel Kopta
Music By: Michael Kocáb

B2 Melancholická Noc
Lyrics By: Jiří Dědeček
Music By: Michael Kocáb

B3 Vítám Slunce Ranní
Lyrics By: Pavel Kopta
Music By: Dežo Ursiny

B4 Podzimní Odpoledne
Lyrics By: Martha Elefteriadu
Music By: Michael Kocáb

B5 Tohle Že Máš Být Ty?
Lyrics By: Martha Elefteriadu
Music By: Michael Kocáb

B6 Dvě Kresby Tuší II.
Lyrics By: Pavel Kopta
Music By: Michael Kocáb

Musicians

Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals: Vladimír Merta (tracks: A6)
Bass Guitar, Contrabass: Ondřej Soukup
Drums: Ladislav Malina, Vratislav Placheta
Electric Piano, Piano, Synthesizer: Michael Kocáb
Guitar: Jiří Špidra, Martin Koubek
Percussion: Jiří Tomek
Harmonica: Ondřej Konrád

Backing Band (Studiová Skupina): Studiová Skupina Michaela Kocába

Oboe: Jiří Kaniak
Flute: Jiří Stivín
Clarinet: František Pušman
Alto Saxophone: Antonín Nachtman,  Miroslav Krýsl
Baritone Saxophone: František Kryka
Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone: Jan Kubík
Tenor Saxophone: Bedřich Kuník, Milan Ulrich
Trombone: Jiří Doubrava, Josef Pavelka, Mirko Koželuh, Svatopluk Košvanec
Trumpet: Jiří Hlava, Laco Deczi, Vlastimil Voňavka, Zdeněk Šedivý

Strings: Jan Mráček, Jiří Fišer, Jiří Rajniš, Květomír Řezníček
Strings, Orchestra: Smyčcový Orchestr Oliver Dohnányi
Violin: Jan Hrubý

Vocals: Dežo Ursiny (tracks: B3),
Hana Hostková-Löfflerová (tracks: A2),
Helena Viktorinová (tracks: B5),
Lída Nopová (tracks: A2), Marie Jakoubková (tracks: A2, B5),
Michael Kocáb (tracks: B1), Tena Elefteriadu (tracks: B3)

Conductor (Smyčcový Orchestr Řídí): Oliver Dohnányi

Arranged By: Michael Kocáb

Credits

Cover: Václav Šimice
Engineer: Jan Štěpánek, Petr Podlešák
Photography By: Taras Kuščynskyj
Producer: Ondřej Konrád
Recording Supervisor: Pavel Kühn, Svatoslav Rychlý

Notes

Panton ‎– 8113 0039

Record Company: Panton, Vydavatelství Českého Hudebního Fondu
Recorded At: Studio Smetanova Divadla
Pressed By: Gramofonové Závody

Nahráno ve studiu Smetanova divadla v Praze, 1979—1980

Dnešek

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

Yoshiko Sai – Taiji No Yume (1977)

Born on June 22, 1953, at Nara prefecture, Yoshiko Sai since his childhood demonstrated its precocity and many artistic gifts. During her elementary school days, she loved to paint and read all the classics from mythical writer Edogawa Rampo (The Japanese Poe).

In junior high school, she was a member of the coral, taking his first lessons in music; by high school, she played in a folk-rock group but the music wasn’t in its main plans so far.

Portrait
Portrait

In 1972 she tried to enter the Kyoto City University of Arts but wasn’t accepted, then she tried the Kyoto Doshisha University where she passed the entrance examination. In May of that year, she was caught by kidney disease, having to spend a year in observation.

Over this period she would recall:

‘I read a LOT of books from famous novelists, such as Mushitaro Oguri, Yumeno Kyusaku, Juran Hisao, and Yokomizo Masashi. These dark novels made me accept and relax about the disease, my forthcoming production of lyrics and music was strongly tied with this fact.’

After leaving the hospital, she incessantly started to wrote poetry and in 1974 debuted and won a contest at a local radio program. She then received an invitation to play an opening act for Rabi Nakayama concert. Two record companies became interested in her music and after the show, she was contracted by Teichiku Records.

1978 Promo
1978 Promo

Yoshiko Sai recorded four albums in four years, between May 1975 and December 1978, the 2nd (Mikkō) and 3rd (Taiji No Yume) of her releases may be considered more Progressive than Folk. Unfortunately, she abruptly retired from a career at the age of 25 in 1979.

A story told is that Yoshiko may have doubted her talent in music and lost her self-confidence. In recent years, a revival of interest in his music made her come back to record a new album with Jojo Hiroshige, called Crimson Voyage in 2001. Lastly, there’s been some re-releases from its 70s records, unedited live performances and poetry books.

Let’s go to our album:

In 1977 she moved to the Nippon Columbia company, and on September 25, she announced Taiji No Yume (Fetus Dream). Heavily inspired by the pre-war oddball and ghostly neurosurgeon doctor and writer Yumeno Kyusaku, hence the strange atmosphere this disc abides in. Quite dark in the overall texture, at the time of this she was merely 24 years old. Totally unknown for non-japanese listeners, this album is really a must for people into some more advanced Japanese historical recordings.

Melancholic Breeze
Melancholic Breeze

With utterly beautiful arrangements by the legendary Yuji Ohno, this is certainly my favorite album from her. A kaleidoscope of genres that spring from the depths of the inner mind: folk, jazz, bossa nova, flamenco, prog, rock and so. Yoshiko Sai plays the role of each and invites us to another dimension of reality, the “IM’ highlights are for:

Aoi Glass-Dama, with nice synths and strings, this rock ballad has an interesting crescendo, delivering an amazing emotional interpretation. And Taiji No Yume, a 9-minute epic, simply one of the best Japanese songs of all time, without exaggeration, I’ll let the words and adjectives to you, do not miss Yoshiko Sai’s haunting realms. 良い旅!

Tracks Include:

A1 ヒターノ (Gitano)

A2 アルハンブラの青い壜 (Alhambra No Aoi Bin)

A3 ある晴れた夜 (Aru Hareta Yoru)

A4 波止場 (Hatoba)

A5 春の夢 (Haru No Yume)

A6 海の沈黙 (Umi No Chinmoku)

B1 青いガラス玉 (Aoi Garasudama)

B2 遍路 (Henro)

B3 白昼夢 (Hakuchūmu)

B4 胎児の夢 (Taiji No Yume)

All songs and lyrics by Yoshiko Sai

Blow Up LX-7021A /// 25/09/1977

Musicians

Drums: Yasushi Ichihara

Electric & Acoustic Guitar: Tsunehide Matsuki

Gut Guitar: Kiyoshi Sugimoto

Electric Bass: Kenji Takamizu (1,2,4,5,9,10) /// Akira Okazawa (3,6,7,8)

Acoustic Piano: Masahiko Sato

Electric Piano, Solina, Spinet & Synthesizer: Yuji Ohno

Percussion: Lary Sunaga

Arranged (strings, brass, instrumental) by Yuji Ohno

Credits

Directed by: Shun Ohki

Produced by: Akira Sakajima

Engineer: Tomiji Iyobe

Art Director: Kazuhiro Saito

Cover Illustration: Yoshiko Sai

Illustration: Tsuyoshi Takigaito

Photography by: Jin Komine

Layout: Takashi Eakabayashi

Taiji No Yume Illustration
Taiji No Yume Illustration