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!

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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!

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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)

Mina – Mina Canta o Brasil (1970)

folder cópiaMina is the greatest Italian singer of all times, but not only. For Italians, Mina is an icon equally as important as the biggest and best-known names about which they boast as proof that Italy has the highest quality everything in the world, like Ferrari, Armani, Fellini or Antonioni. During the ’60s and the ’70s, Mina embodied the very essence of the ultra-talented superstar on stage, in TV and in her records. (!)

She sang Italy’s greatest hits, which for over 40 years have been the leitmotiv of the everyday life of the Italian people. Nowadays Mina releases one record a year.

Let’s go to our artist:

Anna Maria Quaini or Mina Mazzini (25 March 1940)known for her three-octave vocal range, the agility of her soprano voice, and its image as an emancipated woman. In performance, Mina combined several modern styles with traditional Italian melodies which made her the most versatile pop singer in Italian music.

19 Year Old 'Rocker'
19 Year Old ‘Rocker’

Mina dominated the Italian charts for fifteen years and reached an unsurpassed level of popularity in Italy. She has scored 77 albums and 71 singles on the Italian charts!

Mina’s TV appearances in 1959 were the first for a female rock and roll singer in Italy, the public at the timelabeled her as the Tiger of Cremona for her wild gestures and body shakes. When she turned to light pop tunes, Mina’s chart-toppers in West Germany in 1962 and Japan in 1964 earned her the title of the best international artist. Mina’s more refined sensual manner was introduced in 1960 with Gino Paoli‘s ballad This World We Love In’, entering on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961.

Mina & Massimiliano Pani
Mina & Massimiliano Pani

Mina was banned from Italian TV and radio in 1963 because her pregnancy and relationship with the married actor Corrado Pani did not accord with the dominant Catholic and bourgeois morals (sic). After the ban, RAI tried to continue to prohibit her songs, which were forthright in dealing with subjects such as religion, smoking, and sex. Mina’s school act combined sex appeal, with public smoking, dyed blond hair, and shaved eyebrows to create an (unprecedented) bad girl image!

Mina’s voice has a distinctive timbre and great power, her main themes are anguished love stories performed in high dramatic tones. The singer combined classic Italian pop with elements of blues, R&B and soul music during the late ’60s, especially when she worked in collaboration with the singer-songwriter Lucio Battisti.

Live
Live

Top Italian songwriters created material with large vocal ranges and unusual chord progressions to showcase her singing skills, particularly ‘Brava’ (Bruno Canfora) and the pseudo-serial ‘Se Telefonando’ (Ennio Morricone)Shirley Bassey carried Mina’s ballad Grande Grande Grande’ to charts in the U.S. and U.K. in 1973.

Mina’s easy listening duet Parole Parole’ was turned into a worldwide hit by Dalida and Alain Delon in 1974. Then, Mina suddenly gave up public appearances in 1978 but has continued to release popular albums on a yearly basis to the present day.

Let’s go to our album:

Mina is an eclectic, versatile artist completely at ease with a repertoire spanning all musical genres, all of which she has sung with masterful panache!

The Tiger of Cremona!
La Tigre di Cremona!

By 1970 Mina was already an established star, flirting with Brazilian music since the mid-’60s, passing through bossa nova and samba, here she relies on the amazing arrangements of maestro Augusto Martelli to bring a vigorous overview of the so-called MPB (Brazilian popular music). With a stellar team of composers, Mina sings with wild passion, splendid technique and darting Portuguese to our delight!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Todas as Mulheres do Mundo and Tem Mais Samba.

Приятной поездки!

Tracks Include:

A1 Canto de Ossanha (B. Powell, V. de Moraes)

A2 Com Acúcar, Com Afeto (C. Buarque de Hollanda)

A3 Upa Nequinho (E. Lobo, G. Guarnieri)

A4 Todas as Mulheres do Mundo (Erasmo Carlos)

A5 Que Maravilha (Jorge Ben, Toquinho)

A6 A Banda (C. Buarque de Hollanda)

B1 Canção Latina (O. Stocker, V. Martins)

B2 Tem Mais Samba (C. Buarque de Hollanda)

B3 Sentado a Beira do Caminho (E. Carlos, R. Carlos)

B4 A Praça (Carlos Imperial)

B5 Nem Vem Que Não Tem (Carlos Imperial)

Credits

Arranged, Conductor (Orchestra): Bob Mitchell (Augusto Martelli)

PDU ‎– Pld.A.5026

Today
Today

‘If I didn’t have my own voice, I’d like to have the voice of a young Italian girl named Mina’ / Sarah Vaughan, 1968. (!)

R. Pultek – The Voodou Juju Drug (1969)

capa cópia

Vodou, also spelled Voodoo, Voudou, Vodun, or French Vaudou, it’s an official religion of Haititogether with Roman Catholicism. Vodou is a creolized religion forged by descendants of Dahomean, KongoYoruba, and other African ethnic groups who had been enslaved and brought to colonial Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) and Christianized by Roman Catholic missionaries in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The word Vodou means spirit or deity in the Fon language of the African kingdom of Dahomey (Benin). European mysticism, Freemasonry, is also in the practice. With an encompassing philosophy, medicine, justice, and religion, its fundamental principle is that everything is a spirit, humans are spirits who inhabit the visible world.

Vodou masks
Vodou Masks

The unseen world is populated by lwa (spirits), mystè (mysteries), anvizib (the invisibles), zanj (angels), and the spirits of ancestors and the recently deceased. All these spirits are believed to live in a mythic land called Ginen, a cosmic Africa. (!)

The primary goal and activity of Vodou are to sevi lwa (serve the spirits), to offer prayers and perform various devotional rites directed at God and particular spirits in return for health, protection, and favor. Spirit possession also plays an important role in Afro-Haitian religion, as it does in many other world religions.

Ville Bonheur, Saut Deau (Rituals)
Ville Bonheur, Saut Deau (Rituals)

During religious rites, believers sometimes enter a trancelike state in which the devotee may eat and drink, perform stylized dances, give supernaturally inspired advice to people, or perform medical cures or special physical feats; these acts exhibit the incarnate presence of the lwa within the entranced devotee.

Vodou ritual activity is aimed at refining and restoring balance and energy in relationships between people and between people and spirits of the unseen world!

Haitians take a cleansing dip in the Ma bath (Rituals)
Haitians take a cleansing dip in the Ma bath (Rituals)

Nevertheless, Vodou has often been associated in popular culture with Satanism, Zombies and Voodoo Dolls (sic). Zombie creation has been referenced within rural Haitian culture but is not a part of Vodou. Such manifestations fall under the auspices of the bokor or sorcerer, rather than the priest of the Loa.

The practice of sticking pins in voodoo dolls has a history in folk magic. Voodoo dolls are often associated with New Orleans Voodoo and Hoodoo as well the magical devices of the poppet and the nkisi or bocio of West and Central Africa.

I Walked With a Zombie, 1943 / Jacques Tourneur's masterpieces
I Walked With a Zombie, 1943 / Jacques Tourneur’s classic (in color!)

Let’s go to our artist:

The today’s entry is made with a little doubt, although some sources say that (mighty) Davy Jones and Janko Nilovic are the responsible behind this single, we see no indication on the stamps, unlike other releases from Ju Ju Records label. This one is a bit different (and better) from these releases and we believe that the real credit should be given to another famous arranger and composer: Roland Vincent.

Roland Vincent is a pianist, conductor, composer, musical arranger known French, among others, for his compositions and arrangements made ​​for Michel Delpech in the years 1960-1970. He is also a composer of musicals Athon, with texts by Jean-Pierre Lang and more than 100 films, TV movies and plays!

Roland Vincent
Roland Vincent

Here he supposed to sign under the pseudonym Reynaldo Pultek! (?)

Let’s go to our album:

‘His works have gained international recognition for their beauty, lyrical scope, and imagination. I am sure that whatever he endeavors in the music industry, he will handle his field with unusual success’ / Quincy Jones. L.A. 1981

Another obscure lo-fi rip, but take further on this exploitation afro-psych party!

¡Qué tengas buen viaje!!

Tracks Include:

R. Pultek – The Voodou Juju Drug (1969)

A The Voodou Juju Drug (Part 1)

B The Voodou Juju Drug (Part 2)

Barclay ‎– 62226

Vodou in Benin
Vodou in Benin

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

Ramesh (رامش) – Ramesh (2013)

capa cópia

The 1953 Iranian coup d’état, known in Iran as the 28 Mordad Coup, was the overthrow of the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran Mohammad Mosaddegh on 19 August 1953, orchestrated by the United Kingdom’s MI6 (Operation Boot) and the United States’s CIA (TPAJAX Project).

Mossadegh had sought to audit the books of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), a British corporation (now BP) and to renegotiate the terms of the company’s access to Iranian oil reserves. Upon refusal of the AIOC to cooperate with the Iranian government, the parliament (Majlis) voted to nationalize the assets of the company and then, expel their representatives from the country. (!)

The Military Junta Awaits exiled Mohammad Reza Shah, 1953
The Military Junta awaits Mohammad Reza Shah, 1953

Following the coup, a military government under General Fazlollah Zahedi was formed which allowed exiled dictator Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran (Iranian king), to effectively rule the country as an absolute monarch.

By the ’70s, there was growing unrest with the Shah’s autocratic and repressive government along with its infamous police: the SAVAK. In January 1978 the first major demonstrations against the Shah occurred. After a year of strikes, clashes and millions of people on the streets, the country, and its economy were paralyzed.

1979 Revolution
1979 Revolution

The Shah fled Iran in January 1979, then Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile to Tehran to establish the Islamic Republic, becoming the supreme leader.

Let’s go to our artist:

The golden age of Iranian pop music took place on a westernized and liberal Tehran of the ’60s and ’70s. This market offered an unprecedented way of artists for all tastes, the classically-trained Ramesh Azar Mohebbi (November 13, 1946) was part of it.

Playing the serious, quiet marquess in contrast to Googoosh’s languorous pop princess, both singers made the papers every time they changed their haircuts and appeared on TV frequently. Ramesh’s appearance though was not as gay and colorful as the blond-haired and joyfully dancing singer-actress mate!

Iranian Singers (Ramesh, Aref)
Ramesh, Giti, Aref,?

Ramesh appeared dark-haired, with stiffer hairstyles, always with a certain distance, never showing much of her emotions, except a somewhat melancholy of silence.

Belying what Light in the Attic promo-release says about the artist, Ramesh isn’t dead! Iranian Wiki, Youtube (!) and some musical blogs deny the fact. Its last song recording ‘Rumi’ (and album?) comes from 2003. Nowadays, she retired from the music business and glamorous spots to devote (only) to its family and daughter. (!)

Let’s go to our album:

I must admit, I’m very thrilled by the artist of today, this compilation by Pharaway Sounds is arguably one of the best, presenting us with a very rich scene that was the Iranian pre-revolution period. Other singers will be debuting here soon, ok?!

Ramesh & Aref
Ramesh & Aref

A funky queen whose rich voice sits like a mink coat, twirling its a melancholy way around long-necked lutes, sleazy Western brass, strings, synths and goblet drums. Luckily, the collection of videos with her ​​performances on TV programs and Festivals are vast! You can appreciate them at the following links, check it out!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Mondanam Az Bodanet and Aroose Noghreh Poosh.

بن سفر!

Tracks Include:

A1 Nago Na

A2 Goftehgoye Sabz

A3 Zoj

A4 Mondanam Az Bodanet w/ Fereidoon Farrokhzad

A5 Roodkhoneha

A6 Sharm-E Boos-E

B1 Afsoos

B2 Aroose Noghreh Poosh

B3 Asmaar Asmaar

B4 Delakam

B5 Labe Daryaa

B6 Ghoroobaa Ghashangan

Pharaway Sounds ‎– PHS009

Vakil Mosque
Vakil Mosque