Flabbergasted Freeform Radio Hour No.15

Just in time to close out the year, here is Episode 15 of the ongoing saga of freeform flabbergasting podcasts.  It also happens to be the third anniversary of when I first started sharing these things.  Hope you enjoy it!

Here are some direct download links (note: you only need one)

Link #1

Link #2

Link #3 

and below is the Mixcloud version

Flabbergasted Freeform No.15 by Flabbergasted Vibes on Mixcloud

Justi Barreto – Echu
The Soulful Strings – Sleigh Ride
Lou Donaldson – Green Eyes
Arthur Lee & Love – Be Thankfulf For What You Got
Mario Cavagnaro and Sonoro Sensación – El Pompo
Reginaldo Rossi – Pra Sentir Felicidade
Pinduca – Não Posso Mais
Martinho da Vila – Camefeu
Mongo and Justo – Cumbia Tipica
Ed Watson – Judgement Day 
Evidence – That World’s Life
Voyage – Orient Express
Faze-O – Space People
Lynn Collins & The JBs – Mama Feelgood
Beaver and Krauss – Saga of the Blue Beaver
Earth Wind and Fire – Fair But So Uncool
Gal Costa – Relance
Los Van Van – La Habana Joven
Dicró – Espírito Mau
Linda Lyndell – What A Man
Billy Paul – War of the Gods
Andey Bey – Hibiscus
Ira SUllivan – Norwegian Wood
Incredible String Band – Painting Box

Flabbergasted Freeform Radio Hour #14

I had this podcast pretty much finished and ready to go in time for a weekend release, when all hell broke loose on Friday.  Although there were only a few things to tweak, I was a bit numb and too uninspired to wrap it up until today.

There are no topical song selections here.  I do not break into any renditions of “Imagine” accompanied by my toy piano and harmonica, or engage in any other opportunistic public grieving for the fallen. Although I’ve never been there, I used to regularly frequent and sometimes work at music venues the size of the Bataclan or places slightly more intimate.  I could easily add to the cacophony of thoughts and feelings being transmitted in 360 full spectrum stereo and technicolor by spilling more ink.

Or I could just share this podcast I made.  Hope you enjoy it.

Music is healing.

320 kbs mp3





Manchild – Power and Love
Rubens da Mangueira – Dos carroceiros do Imperador ao Palácio do samba
Abdias (and his 8 button accordion) with Não posso lhe perdoar
Dona Ivone Lara – Preá comeu
Orlando Silva – Não foi por amor
Cortijo y Su Combo – Cuembe
Andrew Hill – Ghetto Lights
Gabor Szabo – Ravi
Frankie Beverly and Maze – Happy Feelins
Shadow – Animal Kingdom
Marion Brown – Sound Structure (with Oliver Sacks and Terri Gross)
Horace Silver – Won’t You Open Up Your Senses
Messengers Incorporated – Frequency Response
Ananda Shankar – Kaziranga Beat
Joe Venuti – Clarinet Marmalede
Eddie Floyd – Changing Love
Orlandivo – Guerri-guerri
Ben Sidran – Snatch
Leon Spencer Jr – Message from the Meters
Rotary Connection – Amen
Patrice Rushen – Take You Down to Love

Grant Green – A Day In The Life

Goblin – Suspiria (1977) and Zombi aka Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

Goblin – Suspiria
Released 1977 Cinevox MDF 33.108

Reissued in the box set  The Awakening (2012) – Bella Casa
1 – Suspiria 6:00
2 – Witch 3:11
3 – Opening The Sighs 0:32
4 – Sighs 5:16
5 – Markos 4:05
6 – Black Forest / Blind Concert (Original Edit) 12:33
7 – Death Valzer1:51
8 – Suspiria (Celesta And Bells) 1:34
9 –  Suspiria (Narration)1:48
10 –  Suspiria (Intro)0:32
11  – Markos (Alternate Version) 4:09
12 –  Markos (Alternate Take) 3:50

Zombi (Colonna Sonora Originale Del Film)

aka Dawn of the Dead
1978 Cinevox MDF 33.121

Reissued in the box set  The Awakening (2012) – Bella Casa

1     L’alba Dei Morti Viventi     6:02
2     Zombi     4:21
3     Safari     2:08
4     Torte In Faccia     1:54
5     Ai Margini Della Follia     1:20
6     Zaratozom     3:34
7     La Caccia     3:36
8     Tirassegno     2:48
9     Oblio     5:10
10     Risveglio     1:03
11     L’alba Dei Morti Viventi (Alternate Take)     5:14
12     Ai Margini Della Follia (Alternate Take)     1:40
13     Zombi (Sexy)     2:22
14     Ai Margini Della Follia (Alternate Take)     3:40
15     Zombi (Supermarket)     3:17
16     L’alba Dei Morti Viventi (Intro-Alternate Take)     0


It’s a Halloween DOUBLE FEATURE at Flabbergasted Vibes!
It seems as if, at some point, Goblin became the Game of Thrones of progressive rock: it’s cool to like them even if you’re generally dismissive of the genre.  A revival of interest in this Italian group includes a burst of recent activity, including a few books about their music, a box set collecting six of their albums, and a concurrent (or was it subsequent?) reunion and tour.  They are undoubtedly most famous for providing soundtracks for director Dario Argento, who worked extremely closely with them.  As my friends can tell you, I’m much more of a music head than a cinephile, with yawning gaps in my cultural literacy when it comes to film.  As such, I was familiar with these Goblin records without being familiar with the films.  This includes even the hugely famous Dawn Of The Dead from George Romero, which I only saw last year for the first time.  And just for this post, I got hold of a gorgeous Blu-Ray of Suspiria and watched it last night.  The overall foreboding has not yet worn off.

The music that Goblin produced for these films is central to their entire aesthetic, the score is almost present as it were a separate character, having an impact on the plot more than providing a setting or acting as a reflection.  This feeling of urgency isn’t all in my head, apparently, because according to the liner notes the music for Suspiria was actually recorded before they began shooting, and was at times blasted through PA speakers on the set to provide the proper ambiance.  
Both Suspiria and Zombi are pretty nightmarish records.  The sense of brooding unease never lets up.  As on all their record, the group blends organic sounds (percussion and stringed instruments like lutes or zithers or dulcimers) with analog electronics (synthesizers, oscillators), whispers and shrieks and other creepiness.  They’ll swing from the soundscapes called up from terrifying bad-trip psychedelia, then switch suddenly to a galloping jazz-funk jam that offers a way out of the dream, or a jaunty prog workout in an off-kilter time signature, anthems of chase or pursuit depending on your luck or misfortune, or perhaps some gentle acoustic guitar or mellow saxophone to lull you into a temporary state of relaxation.  Some sort of throat-singing type chant provides the bedrock for another track’s dissonant organ chords and yammering, hallucinatory voices.  Considering how cliché-laden the twin genres of horror and prog rock can be, it is kind of amazing how these soundtracks retain a sense of fresh unpredictability throughout them.  There is a questionably “tribal” passage on Zombi seemingly meant to invoke white peoples’ fear of Afro-Caribbean percussion, or more precisely the ritual uses to which it often lends itself, but even that somehow manages not to cross over into tackiness territory.  Overwhelmingly instrumental (there are obligatory wordless choral bits here and there, in accordance with the 1974 International Agreement on Horror Film Soundtracks), these two soundtracks work well as self-contained records, but when I finally saw the films they belonged to, they seem more fully realized and deliberate.    Suspiria was actually the band’s second soundtrack for Argento, the first being “Rosso Profundo”, which is included in the box set on the Bella Casa label, as is the later collaboration for the film Tenebre.  Two albums not related to films are also in the box – Roller (1976) and Il Fantastico Viaggio Del Bargarozzo Mark (1978).  

I’d like to thank my friend Cheshire Tom for sharing the box set with me and being okay with this post.  I guess whether or not these two albums end up on your Halloween party playlist tonight largely depends on who you’ve invited over.  See the comments section for more info.   Regardless of how you chose to enjoy them, I advise you to keep some soothing tunes handy to follow them.  I recommend The Best of Bread.

Lalo Schifrin – The Amityville Horror (Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1979)

Lalo Schifrin
 The Amityville Horror / Amityville La Maison Du Diable
Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
1979 Casablanca Records 571060 (France)

A1     Amityville Frenzy    4:53
A2     Amityville Horror Main Title     1:44
A3     Get Out     2:26
A4     Amityville Love Scene     1:14
A5     The Wind     1:58
A6     5th Concerto For Harpsichord And Strings    3:44
B1     At The Park     1:48
B2     The Ax     3:25
B3     Juke Box     3:00
B4     The Basement     2:22
B5     Bleeding Walls     2:53
B6     Amityville Horror End Credits     2:21

    Composed By, Conductor, Producer – Lalo Schifrin
    Concertmaster – Israel Baker
    Engineer [Recording] – Aaron Rochen*
    Executive Producer – Buddy Epstein
    Mastered By – Brian Gardener*
    Other [Music Coordinator] – Harry Lojewsky

“Amityville Frenzy” recorded at The Sound Factory, Hollywood.
All other selections recorded at MGM Studios, Culver City.
Mastered at Allen Zentz Studios, Los Angeles.
© 1979 American International Pictures, Inc.
Made in France by Disques Vogue P.I.P.
Distribution Vogue P.I.P.

Lalo Shifrin is an artist I have wanted to post about here for a long, long time, and as often seems to be the case on this blog, his first appearance here is with a record that I “don’t recommend as the place to start” in his prolific discography.  Not that there is anything really wrong with it – it’s just not a particularly significant thread in the many-colored tapestry of his career, in my opinion.  But Halloween is upon us, and it’s a soundtrack for an iconic (if not particularly great) horror film, so let’s celebrate!

One reason why a Lalo post is long overdue here is because his oeuvre defies easy categorization and snubs its nose at any folks still clinging to notions of ‘high brow’ vs. ‘low brow’ in art.  Born and raised in Buenos Aires, educated there and in Paris, but based in the United States for around half a century, one glance at his credits and accomplishments will quickly demonstrate that this guy does not need to pad out his CV to impress anyone.  How many people can boast that they have worked with both Dizzy Gillespie and Dirty Harry?  Bruce Lee and bossa nova?  Cool Hand Luke and classical concertos? I’ll stop now before I alliterate myself to death, but the message is clear: Lalo Schifrin apparently is not the type to sit around twiddling his thumbs, and seems to stay compulsively busy.  All of this soundtrack work was done while he also wrote, recorded, arranged, and performed on more “serious” records under his own name or with other artists.

Schifrin’s film and TV scores are known for frequently dropping some heavy jazz, funk, or Latin grooves in the midst of more orchestrated pieces.  Well, we won’t be getting much of that here.  The only groovers on this OST are the disco-tinted opening track, “Amityville Frenzy,” and the light-jazz/funk of “Juke Box.”  They are both pretty horrific.  Another thing Schifrin’s soundtrack work is known for is that you will often find some heavy hitter musicians in the credits.  Well, we won’t be getting much of that here either.  The truth is that I have no idea who plays on these two aforementioned tracks, but the ensemble playing is pretty generic, and in fact the end of “Juke Box” kind of falls apart completely.  The rest of the tracks are orchestral works of the claustrophobic variety that you expect in a horror film, with subtle track titles like “Bleeding Walls,” and occasional creepy wordless female vocals.  Oh and there is a little bit of Bach thrown in for good measure and as an excuse to bring out a harpsichord.

So, obviously, my opinion is that this soundtrack isn’t going to threaten Komeda’s “Rosemary’s Baby,” Penderecki’s work for “The Shining”, or a handful of other horror soundtracks that are works of art in their own right.  But this topical and timely blog post will stand as a public Post-It note for Flabbergast to share some of Lalo’s more intriguing work in the near future.  There is certainly no shortage of it.  Otherwise, The Amityville Horror soundtrack is something of a rarity, never getting an official CD release.  This vinyl rip is not mine, and in fact I can’t say anything at all about the lineage other than it was sourced from a French pressing of the LP (no info on the equipment used, etc.).  But it sounds really nice and gets my thumbs up, and thanks to the mysterious and anonymous person who put the time into digitizing it.

Fixed Links – João Donato, Tim Maia, Black Ice

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So I’ve fixed a bunch of links on posts where people asked nicely.  I do that sometimes, particularly when people have other feedback and things to say about the blog.  Anonymous people who only leave a comment to say “link broken” and nothing else rarely get listened to any more.  In fact those comments are likely to get an old post moved to the very bottom of the pile, because it irritates the shit out of me.  I’m not your personal genie in a bottle, and last time I checked I’m not making any money off this blog.  The people who actually read the posts are the reason I’ve kept this going for seven years.  So, for y’all, here are some posts where I fixed stuff. 

(note: The Black Ice post actually didn’t have any broken links, but a good friend pointed out that I left out a song from the 16-bit versions of it.  So if you happened to have grabbed those, which are missing Track #8, you should probably purge it from your collection and start over with this version.)

João Donato:

 The New Sound of Brazil
A Bad Donato
Lugar Comum

Tim Maia – Nuvens

Black Ice – Black Ice

Gary Bartz – The Shadow Do (1975)

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Gary Bartz
The Shadow Do
Original release Prestige P-10092
Japanese reissue

Winding Roads     3:18
Mother Nature     6:27
Love Tones     5:11
Gentle Smiles (Saxy)     4:21
Make Me Feel Better     4:41
Sea Gypsy     6:18
For My Baby     4:57
Incident     2:56

    Bass – Michael Henderson
    Congas, Percussion – Mtume

    Drums, Synthesizer – Howard King
    Guitar – Reggie Lucas
    Piano, Clavinet, Synthesizer – Hubert Eaves
    Alto and soprano saxophone, synthesizer, lead and backing vocals – Gary Bartz
    Synthesizer – Larry Mizell
    Producer, Backing Vocals – Larry And Fonce Mizell
    Engineer (Fantasy) – Eddie Bill Harris
    Engineer (Sound Factory) – Jim Nipar, Val Christian Garay

    Mastered By – Mike Reese, Ron Hitchcock
    Mixed By – Dave Hassinger
    Photography – Vicki Bartz

I had not really planned to post about this album, but since my planned posts are not yet ready, I figured I might as well build on the other Bartz/Mizzells contribution from two weeks ago.  My life coach tells me that it is important to keep my BRAND visible in the public eye at all times or else people will forget that I’m here.  It’s the same reason why I call the police to report imaginary criminals lurking around my house at least once a month.  It’s important to be remembered.

I was somewhat dismissive about this record in the last post, wondering if long-time Bartz fans  in the mid-70s thought he had made a mistake by throwing his lot in with the Mizells.  That may seem a bit harsh because this is in fact a pretty solid record.  But artistically it is less fully-realized than Music Is My Sanctuary.  I think my problem with The Shadow Do is that it is a better Mizell Brothers record than it is a Gary Bartz record, but I’m not sure I’m up to explaining what I mean by that so you will just have to trust me.

There are some really great tunes on this.  Bartz is not the greatest singer, but as far as singing instrumentalists in jazz you could do much worse.  His voice is plain and unadorned, and he doesn’t overextend himself.  The song Mother Nature is actually catchy enough to have kept me awake at night (I list “earworms” as one of my regular maladies when filling out paperwork at a new doctor’s office).

A nice surprise is a rhythm section that includes the presence of both Mtume on drums and Michael Henderson on bass.  Henderson is of course most famous for the record ‘Slingshot’, which took its title from the Speedos he wore on the front cover.

 photo slingshot_zpszrdudli2.jpg

 Gary sings a lot about playing his saxophone on this album.  In fact sometimes he sings about playing it more than he actually plays it.  It’s a little odd.

You have to admit that most of the vocal tunes here are really tuneful, even without the benefit of a stand-out vocalist.  “Gentle Smiles”, one of those tunes where Gary keeps reminding us what instrument he plays, is light and playful.  He also accomplishes something that even tops Roland Kirk – he manages to sing an entire verse while playing the melody line on his saxophone AT THE SAME TIME.  Well, I also heard that the Mizell Brothers were hip to a recording technique called “overdubbing”, so maybe we shouldn’t get too excited.  The sustain-less tic-tack bass from Henderson on this track is the glue that holds this together for me.  Or maybe the glue gun that applies the blue and silver sequins around the fringe.

“Make Me Feel Better” sounds like the Ohio Players on sedatives.

“Sea Gypsy” is an instrumental and maybe this best illustrates the Achilles Heel of the record.  Replace the lead instrument with another and this could be interchangeable with almost any other Mizell production:  give it a trumpet and you could be listening to Donald Byrd, flute and you could be listening to Bobbi Humphrey’s “Fancy Dancer.”  There’s very little space for Bartz’s own personality to come through here.  Even though he works out some great riffs, he sounds hemmed in by the tight arrangement.

Back on track, “For My Baby” is pretty damn soulful for an album that, once again – let’s say it together – doesn’t have a strong singer on it.  It’s sweet and makes you want to cuddle, and the arrangement manages to surprise us a little by going all modal in the coda.

The closer, “Incident”, shows that Gary passed the funkateer audition on ‘Make Me Feel Better’ with honors (it was only a clerical error that led to him having to audition again anyway, as he had obviously earned his funk stripes before this record).  It is also vaguely sociopolitical and possibly autobiographical, recounting some experiences in Baltimore, Mr. Bartz’s hometown.

So all in all, yes I suppose this qualifies as the proverbial “unfairly overlooked” long-player record.  Even without the added help of Syreeta on vocals or Enrico “Macaroni” Manchewitz Tagglione twiddling knobs, it’s a gratifying listen.  But “Music Is My Sanctuary” is still it’s rightful successor.

Some technical yammering:  I don’t typically share things on this blog when I can’t 100% vouch for their lineage in terms of  pressing, and this title was not my own rip nor any of my friends.  However I can say with certainty that it is a Japanese CD pressing, because it has not yet been issued anywhere else in that format.  I believe this to be the 2007 pressing (there have been three different reissues of this over there).  One thing that is certain is that I am going to voice one of those “positive stereotypes” about a whole nation of people, and reiterate how the Japanese really valorize audio quality – this thing sounds really nice indeed.

{edit} – A reader has pointed out the I egregiously failed to mention that Reggie Lucas plays on this record.  He’s right!  Hey everybody, Reggie Lucas plays on this record!  Lucas and Mtume (and Michael Henderson) had also played with Miles Davis, and Lucas/Mtume would produce a more straight-up soul record for Bartz in 1980.