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. (!)

Russ Garcia & His Orchestra – Fantastica (1958)

capa cópiaAs we previously approached on Yma Sumac’s first entry, on the very birth of the genre knows as Exotica, today we’ll recap that and add a new genre: space-age pop!

Space-age pop is a music genre associated with Mexican and American composers and songwriters in the Space Age of the ’50s and ’60s. It is also called bachelor pad music or lounge music. It was inspired by the spirit of those times, an optimism based on the strong post-war economy, technology boom, and excitement about humanity’s early forays into space. Although there is no specific album, date, or year when the genre was born, producer Irwin Chusid identifies its heyday as roughly 1954 to 1963, from the dawn of high-fidelity (hi-fi) to the arrival of the Beatles.

Space Escapade, 1958
Space Escapade, 1958

There are several styles that can be recognized as an influence: classical composers like Ravel, Debussy or Stravinsky; the big bands of the ’40s; and different exotic styles, such as Samba, Latin, and Calypso Jazz. It is also related to Exotica and lounge music and may be regarded as a precursor to space music. (!)

Populated with the outcasts from other well-established genres, Space Age Pop is full of brilliant, bizarre, and exciting sounds, which are particularly striking to ears accustomed to the stereotypes that populate the more familiar genres.

Juan García Esquivel
Juan García Esquivel

Let’s go back to Exotica:

The strictest definition limits exotica to the imitations of Polynesian, Afro-Caribbean, and Hawaiian music that were produced by Les Baxter and others from the mid-1950s to the very early ’60s. There were two primary strains of this kind of exotica: Jungle and Tiki. The jungle was definitely a Hollywood creation, with its roots in Tarzan movies or W.H. Hudson’s novel, Green Mansions. Les Baxter was the king of jungle exotica and spawned a host of imitators while opening the doors for a few more genuine articles such as Chaino, Thurston Knudson, and Guy Warren.

Ritual of the Savage, 1951
Ritual of the Savage, 1951

Tiki was introduced with Martin Denny’s Waikiki nightclub combo cum jungle noises cover of Baxter’s ‘Quiet Village’, although Denny’s vibe player, Arthur Lyman, soon became the style’s most representative artist. Tiki rode a wave of popularity in the late ’50s and early ’60s marked by the entrance of Hawaii as the 50th state in 1959 and the introduction of Tiki hut cocktail bars and restaurants around the United States!

Martin Denny's Group
Martin Denny’s Group

Let’s go to our artist:

Russel Garcia (12 April, 1916 – 19 November, 2011) attended at San Francisco State University and then studied composition (with Castelnuovo-Tedesco) before going to work as a professional arranger and composer. He worked with Horace Heidt and Al Donahue before settling in LA to work with a theatre orchestra. He then moved to studio work, first NBC radio and later with Warner Brothers, Disney, and others.

He freelanced around labels, working with singers such as Anita O’Day and Frances Faye as well as several mainstream jazz artists. He also wrote scores for films such as ‘The Time Machine’ and ‘Atlantis’ and contributed music to the television series ‘Rawhide’ and ‘The Virginian’. In the mid-’60s, he wrote several original works for Stan Kenton’s ‘Neophonic’ orchestra. He also published a book on arranging and orchestration that’s still considered a primary text. (!)

Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald & Russ Garcia
Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald & Russ Garcia (Porgy & Bess)

Let’s go to our album:

Fantastica remains the gold standard by which all outer space exotica records are judged, composed and conducted by Russ Garcia, the album is a marvel of sound and structure, brilliantly evoking the music of the cosmos via revolutionary studio techniques, cinematic arrangements, and innovative electronic elements!

Created in tandem with Liberty Records‘ chief engineer, Ted Keep, Fantastica bears little resemblance to conventional earthly music: alongside traditional instruments like woodwinds, harp, and percussion is a series of electronic devices and effects, including a sine wave generator that creates treble and bass tones of almost inhuman extremes. Conjuring horrific images of alien attack (The Monsters of Jupiter), natural disaster (Nova), and chilling isolation (The Lost Souls of Saturn) that articulate the collective unconsciousness of humankind, a true masterpiece!

The Maestro
The Maestro

The ‘IM’ Highlights are Venus and Frozen Neptune. (this is an exclusive rip)

Summing up, this is my Top 3 of the whole genre, an atemporal Lp, nothing appealing or stereotypical as some mentioned during our entry, startle yourself!

Приятно пътуване!

Tracks Include:

A1 Into Space

A2 Nova (Exploding Star)

A3 Lost Souls of Saturn

A4 Monsters of Jupiter

A5 Water Creatures of Astra

A6 Venus

B1 Red Sand of Mars

B2 Goofy People of Phobos

B3 Volcanoes of Mercury

B4 Birth of a Planet

B5 Frozen Neptune

B6 Moon Rise

Credits

  • Arranged, Composed: Russ Garcia
  • Artwork (Cover Design): Garrett-Howard
  • Effects, Electronics, Engineer: Ted Keep
  • Producer: Simon Jackson

Notes

Spectra-Sonic-Sound the ultimate in transistorized stereophonic hi-fidelity sound.

Liberty ‎– LST 7001

Jane Fonda’s Barbarella

Climax – Gusano Mecánico (1974)

capa cópia

In 1966, Bolivia was governed by a dictatorship directed by the general René Barrientos, that had overthrown to the president Victor Peace Estenssoro and position aim to nationalist-popular revolution initiated in 1952 (MNR).

The population was mainly indigenous peasants, while powerful Bolivian Workers Union (VOC), with base in the mining workers ahead, took an iron opposition to the regime that in 1965 expelled from the country it’s Secretary-General, Juan Lechín Oquendo. Generalized disturbances over the country led to a State of Siege state.

1952 Revolution
1952 Revolution

In the interim, The Ñancahuazú Guerrilla or Ejército de Liberación Nacional de Bolivia (ELN) was a group of mainly Bolivian and Cuban guerrillas led by the guerilla leader Che Guevara active in Bolivian Cordillera Province from 1966 to 1967.

After returning from Congo’s revolution flop, the guerrilla was intended to work as a foco, a point of armed resistance to be used as a first step to overthrow the Bolivian government and create a socialist state. With no more than 50 members, the guerrilla successfully defeated several Bolivian patrols before it was wiped out by more than 2000 men and Che Guevara captured and summarily executed. (!)

Guerilla Camp
Guerilla Camp

Only five guerrillas managed to survive and fled to Chile. The CIA had been active in providing finances and training to the Bolivian military dictatorship in the 1960s.

Félix Rodríguez was a CIA officer on the team with the Bolivian Army that captured and shot Guevara on 9 October 1967. Months earlier, during his last public declaration to the Tricontinental Conference, Guevara wrote his own epitaph, stating:

‘Wherever death may surprise us, let it be welcome, provided that this our battle cry may have reached some receptive ear and another hand may be extended to wield our weapons.’ (June 14, 1928 – October 9, 1967) / RIP Comandante!!

Felix & Che , 30 Minutes before its Execution
Felix & Che, 30 Minutes Before its Execution (sic)

Let’s go to our artist:

Climax formed in 1968 after its members returned from a trip to America, where they had been almost a year, been influenced by the bands and rock movement of that time. José ‘Pepe’ Eguino and Javier Saldías had separated from the Blacks Birds, while drummer Alvaro Córdoba had also left his naive (beat) band Las Tortugas.

In late 1968 and early 1969, they recorded ‘Born To Be Wild’ Ep which included versions of songs by Steppenwolf, Cream, and Jimi Hendrix. 1970, presents their second Ep, called ‘Born To Be Wild II’, in which Bob Hopkins, an American marine joins the band playing the harmonica and singing. These Ep includes their early compositions, ‘The Seeker’ and ‘Rhythm of Life’ successfully sung by Hopkins.

Climax Promo
Climax Promo

After extensive traveling the United States and Argentina, Climax launches in 1974 the most representative Lp: Gusano Mecnánico, one of the first concept albums and probably the greatest rock album of Bolivia. With ELP, King Crimson, Miles Davis and Mahavishnu Orchestra influences, it would also be the first full-length album from the band, released in a gatefold cover, based on M.C. Esher surreal etching ‘Relativity’, incorporating worms alluding the mechanization of the humanity.

Following the success of Gusano Mecánico, drummer Alvaro Cordero left the band. Although Eguino and Saldías tried to continue performing several shows with Nicolás Suárez (keyboards) and Felix Chavez (second guitarist), the band didn’t have the same success as the original formation. In subsequent years, there were several reunions, presenting the first formation in some festivals in the early ’90s and last in 2002. Other prominent Bolivian bands are Wara and Estrella de Marzo.

Estrella de Marzo
Estrella de Marzo

Let’s go to our album:

As well as with their Latin American brothers, the development of the Bolivian rock occurred during the ’60s with the Nueva Ola, and their covers inspired by artists from abroad, styles were more like beat and garage. At this era, bands like Loving’s Dark, Los Grillos, Bonny Boy Hots, and Los Dhag Dhags stood out at juveniles clubs.

Then in the ’70s, a more mature scene unfolds with brilliant acts like Wara, Climax and Estrella de Marzo, mixing folklore rhythms with psychedelia and prog rock. A good chance to know the first phase of the Bolivian rock it’s a compilation of Discos Del Condor called Revolución Psicofásica from 2011, check it out!

Bolivian Rock
Bolivian Rock

There’s a slight jazz bent, crazed instrumental jamming, with fuzzy/freaky guitar solos played Avant style like Fripp, aggressive vocals and a tireless MONSTER drummer. Ranging from Mahavishnu Orchestra and King Crimson these guys are no joke!

I was surprised with its technical ability, it’s not often common to see a power trio as solid as them, especially in Latin American bands, a pleasant surprise mis amigos.

The ‘IM’ highlights are Transfusión de Luz and Cristales Soñadores.

Hyvää Matkaa!

Tracks Include:

A1 Pachacutec (Rey de Oro)

A2 Transfusión de Luz

A3 Cuerpo Eléctrico – Embrión de Reencarnación

B1 Gusano Mecánico (Invasión, Dominio y Abandono)

B2 Prana (Energia Vital)

B3 Cristales Soñadores

Credits

  • Bass, Vocals, Lyrics: Javier Saldías
  • Drums, Percussion: Alvaro Córdoba
  • Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals: Jose A. Eguino
  • Composed, Arranged, Performer: Climax
  • Engineer: Wálter Santa Cruz

Notes

Recorded during 1974 at Estudios ‘LYRA’ La Paz – Bolivia.

Lyra MR Simbolo de Calidad, Serie Exito.

Lyra – LPE – 3067 (Discolandia)

Titicaca Lake
Titicaca Lake

Grupo Vocal Argentino – Chango Farías Gómez Presenta (1974)

chango farias cópia

Hola Amigos! Today is a special day, after a tour de force by the Middle East, let’s return to Latin America, our motherland and celebrate the memory, talent, and passion from one of the greatest Argentinian musicians: Chango Farías Gomez!

Characterized by his pioneering and innovative spirit in the way of interpreting the folk music roots and especially for being one of the first musicians who introduced polyphony in the Argentine and Latin American folklore. As we have done in other entries, his complete biography and interviews will be shown in future posts, as we intend to deliver MPA (Musicos Populares Argentinos) and La Manija soon.

Sadly, he died on August 24, 2011, following a cardiac arrest. (RIP)

Today we will focus on Argentinian Folklore!

Let’s go to our history:

La Chacarera
La Chacarera

The word folklore was created by the English archaeologist William John Thomas on August 22, 1846, etymologically derived from ‘folk’ (people, breed) and ‘lore’ (knowledge, science). The date coincides, in Argentina, with the birth of Juan Bautista Ambrosetti (1865-1917), recognized as the father of folk science.

Argentinian folk music has a century-long history which has its roots in the original indigenous cultures. Three major historical and cultural events were molding it: Spanish Colonization (XVI-XVIII centuries), European Immigration (1850-1930), and lastly, but no less important the Internal Migration (1930-1980).

El Pericón
El Pericón

Although folklore is just a cultural expression that meets the requirements of being anonymous, popular and traditional, in Argentina folklore or folk music it’s an author known music, inspired by rhythms and distinctive styles of provincial cultures, mostly indigenous and Afro-Hispanic colonial roots.

The projection folk music began to gain popularity in the 30’s and 40’s, coinciding with a large wave of internal migration from the countryside to the city and the provinces to Buenos Aires, to settle in the 50’s, with the boom of folklore, as the main genre of popular music alongside with the Tango!

Tango, La Boca
Tango, La Boca

In the 60’s and 70’s the popularity of Argentine folklore expanded and linked to similar expressions in Latin America, with the help of various musical and lyrical movements of renewal, as the emergence of the genre in major festivals, including the Festival Nacional de Folclore de Cosquín, one of the largest in this field!

After being seriously affected by the cultural repression imposed by the dictatorship installed between 1976-1983, folk music arose from the Falklands War of 1982, although more related to other genres of Argentina and Latin American popular music expressions, like the Tango, the so-called Rock Nacional, El Cuarteto, and Cumbia.

Atahualpa Yupanqui
Atahualpa Yupanqui

The historical evolution of folk music took shape in four major regions in Argentina: Cordoba-Northwest, Cuyo, The Littoral and Pampa-Patagonian Surera, influenced by, and influential in the musical cultures of border countries such as Bolivia, southern Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Atahualpa Yupanqui, Mercedes Sosa, and Andrés Chazarreta are unanimously considered the most important artists in the history of folk music of Argentina.

Let’s go to our album:

The Grupo Vocal Argentino is a folk music group created in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1966, composed by two stages with different integrations: the first between 1966-1970 led by Chango Farías Gómez and the second from 1974 onwards, led by Carlos Marrodán. In the first stage, the group was a quintet characterized by its modern and innovative style in how to interpret the folklore, being considered the best vocal group in the history of the folk music of Argentina. (!)

They recorded two albums, Grupo Vocal Argentino (1966) and Misa Criolla in (1968), the latter considered as one of the best albums from all-time.

In 1970 the group disbanded.

Carlos Alberto Marrodán
Carlos Alberto Marrodán

Simultaneously, in 1973 the musician Carlos Marrodán, an admirer of Chango Farías Gómez work had attempted to enter the GVA, forming an unnamed octet and invited Chango to witness the first results. Chango was so pleased that he offered the use of the name Grupo Vocal Argentino to Morrodán.

With this composition in the following year, he recorded the today’s album with the following formation: Carlos Heredia, Carlos Fanelli, Roberto Maldonado, José Bravo, Adrián Gómez, Eduardo Curetti, Raúl Bissón and Ricardo D’Agostino.

MPA, 1986
MPA, 1986

Chango has a curious statement that sums up everything we’ve seen so far:

‘I had to always struggle with the dichotomy of whether I do or not folklore. Accept the term folklore was one of the many misfortunes that befall us as a people at the cultural level. I always found that word shifted the concept of evolution possible in our music. All of our historical problems of whether or not this is the folklore was settling in musical terms. So I built the Huanca Huá, which was the foundation stone for the vocal groups were seen, over time, as natural within the genre. In the MPA I got with modern codes that arise in the world and proved that you can keep playing ours. With La Manija showed the excellence of the popular’

The ‘IM’ highlights are Debajo de la Morera and Cholita TraidoraBuen Viaje!

Tracks Include:

A1 La Finadita (Francisco Díaz, Julián Antonio Díaz) / Chacarera

A2 Torcaza, Paloma, Torcaza (Roberto Margarido / Angel Ritrovato) / Cancíon

A3 Debajo de la Morera (Virgilio Ramón Carmona) / Zamba

A4 Chacarera Santiagueña (Tradicional) / Chacarera

A5 Coplas Para la Pena (M. Antonia Barros / Carlos Marrodán) / Zamba

B1 Cholita Traidora (Tradicional) / Carnavalito

B2 Zambita del Caminante (Atahualpa Yupanqui) / Zamba

B3 Añorando (Hermanos Simón) / Chacarera

B4 La Tupungatina (Cristino Tapia) / Tonada

B5 Viva Jujuy (Tradicional) / Bailecito

Raúl Bissón, José M. Bravo, Eduardo Curetti, Ricardo D’Agostino

Carlos Fanelli, Adrián Gómez. Carlos Heredia, Roberto Maldonado

Arreglos y Dirección: Carlos Marrodán

Trova XT-80092

El Ateneu, Library
El Ateneu, Library

John Berberian and The Rock East Ensemble – Middle Eastern Rock (1969)

capa cópia

Armenia. Beginning in the eleventh century, a long series of invasions, migrations, conversions, deportations, and massacres reduced Armenians to a minority population in their historic homeland on the Armenian Plateau. A large-scale Armenian diaspora of merchants, clerics, and intellectuals reached cities in Russia, Poland, Western Europe, and India. Most Armenians remaining in historical Armenia under the Ottoman Empire in the fifteenth century survived as peasant farmers in eastern Anatolia, but others resettled in Constantinople and other cities in the empire. There they became artisans, moneylenders, and traders.

In the nineteenth century, the political uncertainties that beset the Ottoman Empire prompted further insecurity in the Armenian population. During the WWI, Armenians from the Caucasus formed volunteer battalions to help the Russian army against the Turks. Early in 1915, these battalions organized the recruiting of Turkish Armenians from behind Turkish lines. The Young Turk government reacted by ordering the deportation of the Armenian population to Syria and Palestine.

Genocide Map
Genocide Map

More than 1 million (!) died from starvation, were killed by Arab or Kurdish tribes along the route, either massacred or forcibly removed from the eastern Anatolian provinces, what became known as the (forgotten) Armenian Genocide.

(Due to the graphic content of this little-known Holocaust, we decided not to show these horrors committed on the page, there are links in the text for this.)

Aside from the historical persecution and diaspora, Armenia is a unitary, multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. The Satrapy of Armenia was established in the 6th century BC, after the fall of Urartu. In the first century BC, the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height extension under Tigranes the Great.

Mesrop Mashtots Moument
Mesrop Mashtots Monument

Armenia became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion, in the early years of the 4th century (301 AD). They got their own distinctive alphabet and language, invented by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD, a fundamental step in strengthening the Armenian statehood and the bond between the Armenian Kingdom and Armenians living in the Byzantine Empire and the Persian Empire.

Located between the East and the West, a place of collisions between great empires of antiquity and the Middle Ages such as Rome, Iran, Byzantium, Arabs, Seljuks, Mongols crossed Armenia and destroyed it interrupting its cultural development leaving behind nothing but the smoking ruins. Having managed to resist each of the powerful newcomers, the people have saved fidelity to their culture which nevertheless underwent some changes. As a result, the national culture of Armenia acquired some features characteristic to both civilization then: Eastern and Western.

Cilician Traditional Costume
Cilician Traditional Costume

Sergei Parajanov was a Soviet film director and artist who made significant contributions to UkrainianArmenian and Georgian cinema, with an own cinematic style, which was totally out of step with principles of socialist realism. 

This, combined with its controversial lifestyle, led Soviet authorities to consider him a persona non gratapersecuting, imprisoning and banning its films!

The Color of Pomegranates
The Color of Pomegranates

Let’s go to our artist:

John Berberian (October 9, 1941) was born in New York City. Berberian’s parents were Armenian immigrants that came to America in the early 1920s with a rich musical culture. His father was an accomplished oud player, as well as an instrument maker. Oud masters of Armenian, Turkish, Arabic and Greek heritage frequented his family’s home. He first recorded traditional oud music with violinist Reuben Sarkisian, when a student at Columbia University in the mid-1950s. John subsequently recorded for a variety of labels including MGM, RCA, Roulette, Verve and Mainstream Records, two recordings from this series, Expressions East and Oud Artistry, were record-breaking in sales expanding beyond the ethnic market.

As a younger member of the longstanding Armenian community of Massachusetts, Berberian worked on a musical style known as Taksim (improvisation), a firm deeply rooted in traditional Middle Eastern folk music. Berberian has commanded the respect of musicians worldwide, he has been featured in numerous concerts and dances throughout the USA, Canada, and South America, and is one of only a handful of musicians worldwide given the title of Udi (oud master) (!). He presently lives in Massachusetts and maintains a very active performance schedule, up to this day.

60's Portrait
60’s Portrait

Let’s go to our album:

In 1969, two producers from the Verve label, Peter Spargo and Harvey Cowen, tried to do for the oud what others did for the sitar. Spargo knew Berberian, having used him in various sessions. They hired him, with other Armenian musicians from New York and two jazzmen, including Joe Beck; they mostly did not know each other and rehearsed and recorded the same day they met for the first time. Verve fired the two producers before they could make of Berberian the new (sic) Ravi Shankar.

‘The Oud and The Fuzz’ is an original sound derived from the Druze tribe of Northern Africa. ‘Chem-OO-Chem’ is a popular Armenian song, 6/8 is the traditional rhythm for Armenian dances. This features lead vocalist Bob Tashjian. ‘Flying Hye’ (with hye referring to flying in Armenian) starts in 9/8 which changes to 6/8 and has a melody taken from the (famous) Greek dance form of Tsamiko.

Armenian Ensemble
Armenian Ensemble

Also ‘3/8 + 5/8= 8/8’ refers to how complex Middle Eastern melodies can build up, based upon Turkish classical music. ‘The Magic Ground’ is a based upon A minor (or Kurdi for Arab music), which takes off in 2/4, then breaks into a swing.

Once again do not be fooled by this tacky cover art! Released originally in 1969, Middle Eastern Rock is a unique, compelling fusion record from Armenian-American oud player John Berberian. The results, which blend elements of psychedelia, free jazzklezmer, African, and Middle Eastern textures, are dazzling, and are sure to thrill anyone with a taste for outside albums, be ready and Բարի ճանապարհ:!

The ‘IM’ highlights are The Oud & The Fuzz and 3/8 + 5/8 = 8/8.

Tracks Include:

A1 The Oud & The Fuzz (Berberian) (4/4)

A2 Tranquility (6/8)

A3 Chem-OO-Chem (6/8)

B1 Iron Maiden (2/4)

B2 Flying Hye (9/8)

B3 3/8 + 5/8 = 8/8

B4 The Magic Ground (Berberian, Baronian) (2/4)

A2 To B3: Traditional

Credits

  • Art DirectionSid Maurer
  • Artwork (Cover Art) – Jim O’Connell, Sandy Hoffman
  • Bass (Fender Bass) – Chet Amsterdam
  • Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone SaxophoneSouren Baronian
  • Drums – Bill LaVorgna
  • Electric Guitar (Amplified Rock Guitar), Guitar (Fuzz) – Joe Beck
  • Engineer – David Greene, Tony Maye
  • Goblet Drum (Dumbeg) – Steve Pumilian
  • Leader, Oud – John Berberian
  • Liner NotesJack Maharian
  • Percussion, VocalsBob Tashjian
  • Producer – H.H. Cowen, Peter Spargo
  • Rhythm GuitarEd Brandon

Companies

Recorded At A&R Studios, New York City

Produced By H.H. Cowen, Peter Spargo

Director of Engineering – Val Valentine

Engineers: David Greene, Tony Maye

Verve Forecast FTS-3073

Sunny Yerevan
Sunny Yerevan
StereoMono

foreign lavish sounds

The Music of Parallel Realities

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Bodega Pop

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GRAVETOS & BERLOTAS

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Las Galletas de Maria

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Rock Peruano (Imágenes)

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Discófilos Anônimos

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Global Groove Independent

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Toque Musical

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La Nave Del Rock Argento

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JPOP80SS

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'Girls Of The Golden East' - (Mostly) Seventies Songstresses of the Soviet Satellites

'Girls Of The Golden East' - Female and Female-led Pop Music from the former Eastern Bloc from the late 1960s to the early 1980s

Flabbergasted Vibes

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Sangre Yakuza

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JUGO ROCK FOREVER

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50 Watts

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lady walker

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FLASH STRAP

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Cabeza de Moog !

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