Shahram and Shohreh ‎– Telésm (1984)

Okay, let’s go back in time a little bit and recall one of the all-time favs of the ‘IM’, the stunning Ramesh. We’re proud to visit Iran again, but first off, let me remember you to always check the COMMENTS section at every entry to listen to what is referred, in the end, all that matters is the music my dearest matelots stellaires, so do not miss.

This fantastic treasury includes two of one of the mighty artists Iran has ever brought to us, to be sincere, there’s a TON of talent that flourished throughout the country before the 1979 Revolution. Gradually we will enclose most of them and for that, we will stick only with the girl today, the all-time legend Shohreh Solati. Her partner Shahram Shabpareh, simply regarded as the father of pop music in Iran, soon will also be here.

Before we start one last thing, today’s album is exclusive, so please enjoy (only) with us!

Let’s go to our artist:

Shohreh & Shahram Solati (her brother) – 70s

Shohreh Solati  (Persian: شهره صولتی) (born Fatemah Solati on January 4, 1957, in Sar-Cheshmeh) in Tehran to a well-to-do family of artists and entertainers, she developed an interest in music early on, singing at seven years of age. She later went on to study at the Tehran Conservatory of Music, where she received training in singing and the clarinet.

Her first album titled Dokhtar-e-Mashreghi (Persian for “Eastern Girl”) was successfully released in 1976 (even before she already had released a couple of singles), garnering a lot of notability, also, magazines directed toward the youth of Iran in the 1970s gave a ton of exposure to the singer. In a short period, she entered the hall of the Iranian celebs.

Cinema Stars

Shortly before the Revolution, Shohreh left Iran to perform in a series of concerts in the US and, due to restrictions imposed on entertainers by the new leadership, she wasn’t able to return. She moved to Los Angeles in 1982, settling with the exiled Iranian music industry performers of the 70s. Working with songwriters, composers, and arrangers such as Mohammed Moqadam, Jaklin, Siavash Ghomeishi, and Shubert Avakian, she produced, performed and released several new albums in an almost four-decade span.

Zan-e Rooz Magazine – Dream Team Singers

At the turn of the millennium, Shohreh continued releasing more albums outreaching her popularity beyond the borders of Iran. She has been credited to have given sold-out performances in the US, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Britain, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Germany, Cyprus, Turkey, Israel and beyond. (!)

She has had one of the most consistently active and prolific careers among contemporary, women Iranian singers who still remain. Having received recognition for her ability to continuously reinvent herself as well. Sometimes called the Iranian Madonna, Shohreh also has been referred to as the Queen of Scene, for her attention-grabbing music videos and stage presence, as well as the (majestic) Queen of Iranian Pop آیا کافی است؟

Actress Irene Zazians

Let’s go to our album:

This second album of her career, in addition to being divided side by side with Shahram, has the special collaboration of Manuchehr Cheshmazer in the arrangements, it also has plenty of excellent American musicians in the backing band, giving a unique touch.

Tehran’s feast winds blow here with an unusual eastern feel between folklore, disco, rock and more. Manoochehr’s keys are truly hypnotic, allow yourself to get into that!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Telésm and Gomshodeh.

Tracks Include:

A1 Telésm
A2 Boro
A3 Rosva
A4 Mitoony
B1 Ghesmat
B2 Chera Rafti
B3 Adat (New Version of Hamvatan)
B4 Gomshodeh

Musicians

Keyboards: Manoochehr Cheshmazar
Guitar: Ardeshir Farah
Bass: Jerry Wats
Drums: Alfredo Reyes, Evan Caplan
Percussion: Shahram Shabpareh, Al Chak, Manouchehr Lashkari
Tonbak: Majeed Ghorbanian
Trumpets: Howie Shear, Rick Page
Tenor Sax: Bob Shepard
Trombone: Doug Wintz, David Stout
Viola: George Hunt, Nina Roma
Violins: Rony Barg, Mihel Moro, Tom Shanon, Edward B. Bone

Arranged By: Manoochehr Cheshmazar

Credits

Recorded & Mixed: Hit City West, LA, CA
Engineered By: Jason Bell
Photo: Orad Azarbeygui
Producers: Djahanguir Tabariai, Vartan Avanessian

Notes

Taraneh ‎– 125
Taraneh Enterprises INC. 1984 U.S.A.

Actual Shohreh Solati

Mustafa Özkent Ve Orkestrası – Gençlik Ile Elele (1973)

capa cópiaHello people! Last Wednesday (08/10) a novelty happened and we would like to share with everyone, Gary Sullivan, our friend from Bodega Pop made ​​a radio-webcast program of 3 hours, highlighting the qualities of the Interstellar Medium, along with an extensive tracklist. We wanted to thank Gary and each one who participated and supported during the transmission, the link for you to hear the show is available here.

This was an important step to our history, we ALWAYS count on your opinion! And for those who haven’t yet been familiarized with the page or arrived just now, there’s the About to give you some directions, without further ado let’s get to our entry!

Let’s go to our music:

Ferdi Özbeğen Orkestrası, 60's
Ferdi Özbeğen Orkestrası, 60’s

The Turkish Rock movement is believed to have begun in the late-50’s with the arrival of The Shadows and developed further during the next decade with the increasing popularity of Western music acts. With the coming of The Beatles, small bands sprung up everywhere, this triggered the national newspaper Hΰrriyet to organize a national talent contest under the title Altin Mikrofon (golden mic).

In the ’60s, the youth especially living in big cities were very receptive to new pop music coming from abroad but understandably they also were far from the social impact that this music brought, or we may say a middle-class minority who knew English were aware. Meanwhile, there was unrest amongst young people which translated into an exciting political climate, not fed by rock music exclusively.

Arda Uskan, John & Yoko, Erkin Koray
Arda Uskan, John & Yoko, Erkin Koray

Of all the musical/cultural scenes that happened along the ’60s, psychedelia was the most effective one in Turkey; it started one year later than the USA and Europe but lasted much longer, this music brought a new dimension to Turkish listeners, while the rest of the nation was happy with its oriental overtones, the Turkish music fans found that it was what they felt inside really! So psychedelia influence was at a much different scope than it had on other countries, by 1969 all codes on the birth of a big rock music scene were set and Turkish rock had five more years of prolific kingdom.

After 1975-76, the scene took its toll with changing political, musical and social climates and before 1979 came it was all over (!). The golden age of Anadolu Rock was marked by artists famous until today, such as Baris Manço, Cem Karaca, Edip Ackbyram, Ersen. Bands like Mogallar, 3 Hurel, Erkin Koray and Selda Bagcan.

Baris Manço's Cockade
Baris Manço’s Cockade

Let’s go to our artist:

Mustafa Özkent was a lesser-known but significant figure on the Ankara music scene until his music belatedly found a receptive audience in the West four decades after!

A talented guitarist who was known to modify the design of his instruments to create unusual tonal qualities, he earned a reputation as a gifted maverick and by the dawn of the 70’s was in demand as a session player, arranger, and producer, creating music that fused psychedelicpop and soul influences with jazz-like improvisations.

Mustafa Özkent
Mustafa Özkent

In 1972, he partnered with Evren Records, a Turkish label known for its audiophile recording techniques, Ozkent booked time at Istanbul’s finest recording facilities, and with a mighty team of musicians, he began recording new material dominated by extended percussion jams, hard-grooving organ lines, and funky wah-wah guitars.

The resultant Lp, Genclikle Elele (Hand in Hand with Youth), sounded as if it were designed for hip-hop DJs in search of funky breaks even though it was cut years before the South Bronx scene began to flower! The British Finders Keepers label reissued its masterpiece in 2006, he remains active in Turkey, releasing Dijital Guitar in 2005!

Let’s go to our album:

Cem Karaca's Article
Cem Karaca’s Article

Mustafa went on to invent specially treated guitars with additional frets enabling him to replicate unique notes similar to a saz or lute allowing the musician to emulate the sound of Hendrix’s style wah-wah and fuzz while retaining the versatility of the traditional Eastern sensibilities which ran through many young Istanbul’s veins.

Unlike Zafer Dilek’s entry and its adapted Belly Dance, this time the Turkish folklore really receives a spicy electric treatment, the groove is so infectious that I really doubted it could have come from Turkey. I simply won’t say much about this masterpiece, an instrumental album like Gençlik Ile Elele is virtually unattainable!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Dolana Dolana and Ayaş.

좋은 여행!

Tracks Include:

A1 Üsküdar’a Giderken

A2 Burçak Tarlaları

A3 Dolana Dolana

A4 Karadır Kara

A5 Emmioğlu

B1 Çarşamba

B2 Zeytinyağlı

B3 Silifke

B4 Lorke

B5 Ayaş

Credits

  • Arranged, Performed: Mustafa Özkent
  • Guitar: Cahit Oben, Mustafa Özkent
  • Organ (Hammond): Umit Aksu

All songs Traditional/Anonymous

  • Recorded at Grafson studios, Istanbul.
  • Originally released on LP in 1973Evren Plakları, TÜ 1003

Finders Keepers Records ‎– FKR010LP

Moğollar, Today
Moğollar, Today

Samira Tawfik (سميرة توفيق) – Ya Marhaban (196x)

samira 3 cópiaWe had a small break in the pace of updates due to the elections held in October here in Brazil, therefore, it is likely that this month will be a bit slower than usual, but don’t worry, the average rate will be kept on our Facebook, as we’re trying to extend our sharing network in a more regular schedule, based on documentaries, live presentations, and rare film clips. Join us, leave a word and be welcomed to the ‘IM’!

Let’s go to our artist:

In terms of popularity and international recognition, the popular singers from Egypt and Lebanon respectively were those who had more success in spreading the Arab culture worldwide since the mid-50s. On the Egyptian side, Umm Kulthum (greatest female Arabic singer in history!), Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Farid al-Atrash and Abdel Halim Hafez, are the four greatest icons from the twentieth century.

The Lebanese side got plenty of female stars like Fairuz, Sabah, Majida El Roumi and lastly but not least, Samīra Ġusṭīn Karīmūna. Here we got its third entry!

Samira Tawfik, 60's
Samira Tawfik, 60’s

The previous posts from her got its full biography, film clips and a little essay about Lebanon, amongst other details. Feel free to travel along with these entries and enjoy it!

Let’s go to our album:

A single from the (late?) 60’s with fine sound quality, in what might be the apex of Samira’s career, starring dozens of films, endless tours and multiples releases (Lp’s and singles) throughout the Arabic world. This fantastic single, one of my favorites from her, takes a plunge inside traditional folklore, a bit different from the 90’s last entry, where there’s no electric guitar or synths, but the usual Arabic band style with female/male chorus, strings, and tight percussion. Lastly, don’t forget to check its youtube channel full of various performances at different times in her lasting career!

Tracks Include:

A Ya Marhaban

B Asmar Kahil Al Ain

Voix du Liban – Vlexa 33

Beirut's Neighborhood
Beirut’s Neighborhood

Osamu Kitajima (喜多嶋修) – Benzaiten (1974)

capa cópiaThe music of Japan includes a wide array of performers in distinct styles both traditional and modern. The word for music in Japanese is 音楽 (ongaku), combining the kanji  ‘on’ (sound) with the kanji  ‘gaku’ (enjoy). Many instruments, as the koto, were introduced in the 9th and 10th centuries, the accompanied recitative of the Noh drama dates from the 14th century and the popular folk music, with the guitar-like shamisen, from the 16th century. Western classical music, introduced in the late 19th century, now forms an integral part of Japanese culture. The imperial court ensemble Gagaku has influenced the work of many modern Western composers.

Notable classical composers from Japan include Toru Takemitsu and Rentarō Taki.

Biwa & Koto by Utagawa Kunisada, 1848
Biwa & Koto by Utagawa Kunisada, 1848

Popular music in post-war Japan has been heavily influenced by American and European trends, which has led to the evolution of J-pop (popular music). Japan is the second-largest music market in the world, with a total retail value of over 3 billion dollars in 2013, dominated by Japanese artists. Karaoke is also the most widely practiced cultural activity, ahead of flower arranging (ikebana) or tea ceremonies. Traditional Japanese music is quite different from Western music as it’s based on the intervals of human breathing rather than mathematical timing. (!)

Toru Takemitsu
Toru Takemitsu

Let’s go to our artist:

Osamu Kitajima (February 3, 1949) was born and raised in the beach town of Chigasaki (Kanagawa Prefecture), as a young man he studied classical guitar and piano; his first band the Launchers, was led by pop idol and actor Yuzo Kayama, the group disbanded in the late ’60s, after Kitajima began to work on his own.

After graduating from Keio University, and already a successful composer of TV and advertising jingles, he moved for one year to the UK in 1971, which brought him in to contact with British folk and psychedelia. Inspired by The Beatles, T. Rex, and Syd Barrett, he dubbed himself Justin Heathcliff and issued a lone eponymous album.

Dr. Osamu Kitajima, 1972
Dr. Osamu Kitajima, 1972

His first solo album in 1974, Benzaiten, was a mix of modern pop and traditional Japanese music, and was well received in Japan and later released abroad (Antilles label in U.S.) where it received some underground radio airplay and sold moderately. Also in 1974 Kitajima relocated to the Los Angeles area and later opened East Quest Studios; the late ’70s and ’80s saw the establishment of its career, with more than a dozen Lp’s, he has become one of Japan’s biggest selling artist internationally!

During the decades, Osamu Kitajima expanded his work to include commercial and soundtrack work, he provided part of the music to the blockbuster mini-series Shogun and contributed to the soundtrack of Sharkey’s Machine. He also arranged the scores for PBS documentaries on Japan, Chinese/Japanese film Mandala and produced a number of artists. Nowadays, inside East Quest Records, he continues to release his own albums (new and re-issues), as well as works by countless artists.

Osamu's Portrait
Osamu’s Portrait

Let’s go to our album:

This is truly a melting pot of Western rock and Japanese traditional music, very few have pulled it off so well as Kitajima does here. Either they usually fall prey to new age sappiness or move towards amateurish exploitation, fortunately, it does not happen here, a real serious work, the type of rock-influenced world music that still hasn’t been much explored at all. The album also featured Haruomi Hosono and it utilized various electronics: synthesizerrhythm machine, and electronic drums.

A bit different from our previous entry Buddha Meet Rock, this is a more elaborate record, with brilliant musicians and cinematic feelings, being a cornerstone of Japanese folklore, be enlightened by Kitajima’s masterful work and Bono Trinus!

Benzaiten Goddess
Benzaiten Goddess

The ‘IM’ highlights are Taiyo (The Sun) and Benzaiten (Reprise).

Tracks Include:

A1 Benzaiten (The God of Music and Water)

A2 Taiyo (The Sun)

A3 Tengu (A Long-Nosed Goblin)

B1 Benzaiten (Reprise)

B2 Whoma (Immortality)

Credits

  • Acoustic Guitar, Synthesizer, Percussion, Electric Guitar, Koto, Biwa, Drums (African, Mexican), Electronic Drums (Rhythm Machine): Osamu Kitajima
  • Bass: Dennis Belfield, John Harris
  • Biwa: Masako Hirayama
  • Drums (African): Kinji Yoshino
  • Drums (Tsuzumi), Percussion (Narimono): Kisaku Katada
  • Electric Bass: Haruomi Hosono
  • Electric Guitar: George Marinelli
  • Flute (Hayashi-bue): Haruyoshi Hosei
  • Keyboards: Brian Whitcomb
  • Shakuhachi: Tatsuya Sano
  • Sho: Yosei Sato
  • Engineer: Kinji Yoshino
  • Engineer (Assistant): Yutaka Matsumoto
  • Producer: Kinji Yoshino, Osamu Kitajima
  • Distributed and Manufactured: Island Records Inc.
  • Antilles U.S. release of the album first released by Island Records (Japan) in 1974.

Recorded through Jan/Aug 1974 at Hit Studio of Jean Jean Theater, Tokyo

Whoma recorded live at Nikkei Hall.

Antilles ‎– AN 7016

Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival

ВИА Севиль (VIA Sevil) – Севиль (Sevil) [1978]

vagif, azizaIn terms of ethnicity, culture, music, and religionAzerbaijan is much closer to Iran than Turkey, the country has the distinction of being the first Muslim-majority democratic and secular republic of the modern eraTheir music is based on folk traditions that reach back nearly a thousand years! We can list here e.g. the Mugham, Meykhana and Ashiq Art being one of the many musical traditions of Azerbaijan.

Mugham is usually a suite with poetry and instrumental interludes, it belongs to the modal system and may have derived from Persian tradition (Arabic Maqam). In contrast to the mugham traditions of Central Asian countries, Azeri mugham is more free-form and it is often compared to the improvised field of jazz. Its modes are associated not only with scales but with an orally transmitted collection of melodies and melodic fragments that performers use in the course of improvisation.

Nizami Ganjavi, 16th Century
Nizami Ganjavi, 16th Century

The dramatic unfolding in performance is associated with increasing intensity, rising pitches, in a form of poetic-musical communication amid performers/listeners.

In 2003, UNESCO recognized Mugham as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Another curiosity is the presence of the Balaban (national wind instrument) included on the Voyager Golden Record, attached to the Voyager spacecraft as representing (assorted) world music.

Meykhana is a kind of traditional Azeri distinctive folk unaccompanied song, usually performed by several people improvising on a particular subject. Ashiq combines poetry, storytelling, dance, and vocal and instrumental music into a traditional performance art that stands as a symbol of Azerbaijani culture. Based on a mystic troubadour or traveling bard who sings and plays the Saz, this tradition has its origins in the ancient Turkic peoples, surviving to the present day as an emblem of national identity and the guardian of Azerbaijani language, literature, and music. (!)

Azeri Dance
Azeri Dance

Let’s go to our music:

Jazz is extremely popular in Azerbaijan. National Jazz School of Azerbaijan was established with the birth of State Jazz Orchestra in 1938 performing both classic jazz and improvisations on traditional Mugham music. The life of Jazz did not last long as in the ’50s Soviet authorities banned its performance in the country as seditious western music, even music played on the saxophone was outlawed!

Therefore, a blend which came to be known as mugam jazz had originated in Baku.

In the late ’60s, the Azeri jazz music was boosted by such composers as Qara Qarayev and Rauf Hajiyev. It was the era of Rafiq Babayev’s jazz quartet, and later, that of Vagif Mustafazadeh, who pioneered the jazz-mugham variation.

Qara Qarayev
Qara Qarayev

Let’s go to our artist:

Vagif Mustafa-Zadeh (March 16, 1940 – December 17, 1979) is the founder of Azerbaijani jazz mugham movement that emerged in the late ’60s and ’70s in Baku.

Mustafazadeh was born in Old City, the historic core of the Baku, his name was chosen by the renowned poet Samed Vurgun, on the request of his mother, a piano teacher in local music school. The musical prohibitions during the ’40s and ’50s meant that the playing of jazz was banned in USSR countries, including Azerbaijan since there was no opportunity to get jazz records from anywhere, he listened to jazz pieces, learning from movies, the BBC radio and sang the also banned Meykhana.

In 1963, he graduated from Baku State Musical School named after Asaf Zeynally and a year later accepted to Azerbaijan State Conservatoire. He first achieved fame at the music school, giving concerts there, later on performing at the parties and evenings held at the universities and clubs, while performing at the clubs, he mainly played classical jazz, as well as some blues and (even) pop-dance music!

A Young Maestro
A Young Maestro

From the ’60s, prohibitions put on jazz music were gradually lifted and thus the late 1960s and ’70s became a time when Baku was a real center of inspired jazz.

In 1965, he quit the conservatoire and went to Tbilisi to lead the Orero musical ensemble, later he created the Qafqaz jazz trio at Georgian State Philharmonic.

In 1970 he formed the Leyli women’s quartet and followed the formula in 1971 with the (famous) Sevil vocal-instrumental ensemble. The group was founded on the basis of the State TV & Radio of Azerbaijan SSR, with soloists U. Hajibeyov, Dilara Dzhangirova, and Rena TalybovaUntil 1977 he guided tirelessly all of ’em!

Sevil, 70's
Sevil, 70’s

For its composition Waiting for Aziza, Mustafazadeh won first prize at the 8th International Competition of Jazz Composers in Monaco, 1978. He was also elected as laureate at Donetsk All-Soviet Union Jazz Festival in 1977 and elected as the best pianist in Tbilisi-78. Vagif Mustafazadeh is assigned Honored Artist of Azerbaijan SSR and after his death Azerbaijani State Prize. Unfortunately, he died of a heart attack shortly after a concert in Tashkent, and before the birthdays of his wife and daughter. Mustafazadeh was married twice, from the first marriage he had Lala, a classical pianist. His second marriage gave him (famous) Aziza Mustafa Zadeh.

More than three decades since Mustafazade’s passing, a larger number of his recordings are more widely available than at any time during his lifetime. (RIP)

Vagif Mustafa Zadeh
Vagif Mustafa Zadeh (Art)

Let’s go to our album:

This is one of those rare moments when everything goes right! I’m totally rapt about the music of this incredible artist, composer, arranger, and icon. Be blessed by the wonderful vocal harmonies, deep instrumental tracks, folk and even a bit of funk-rock. Today we won’t talk much, the music speaks for itself, despite the quality of the rip, the overall is fantastic, a long-lasting jazz album, appraise it and yaxşı səfər!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Beauty Black Eyebrows and Mugam.

Tracks Include:

A1 Дороги (Roads) / (V. Mustafazade – F. Qoca)

A2 Золотое колечко (Golden Ring) / (T. Quliyev – R. Rza)

A3 Сурьма для черных бровей (Beauty Black Eyebrows) / (V. Mustafazade – Xalq)

A4 От судьбы не уйдешь (No Escaping Fate) / (V. Mustafazade)

B1 Во дворце ширваншахов (In the Palace of the Shirvan Shahs) / (V. Mustafazade)

B2 Любимая (Favorite) / (R. Haciyev – O. Olibeyli)

B3 Мугам (Mugam) / (R. Mirisli)

B4 Сегодняшний день (This Day) / (V. Mustafazade)

Мелодия ‎– С60 10157

Baku by Night
Baku by Night