Shuichi "Ponta" Murakami is a Japanese jazz drummer and session musician. Murakami first learned to play French horn, but switched to classical percussion as a teenager before settling on the drum kit. He worked extensively as a sideman on jazz sessions in the 1970s and 1980s, with, among others, Sadao Watanabe, Yosuke Yamashita, Kazumi Watanabe, Akira Sakata, and Takashi Kako. He founded the group Ponta Box (featuring sidemen Masahiro Sayama and Masatoshi Mizuno) which recorded three albums for JVC Victor and appeared at the 1995 Montreux Jazz Festival, and has recorded several albums under his own name. He also worked as a session musician for J-pop stars for several decades.
The Harmonia Mundi label doesn't pay a lot of lip service to music outside of its core, Baroque and back-centered repertoire, although it has achieved some marvelous things in contemporary music and, very occasionally, the off-the-beaten-path romantic repertoire. Emmanuelle Bertrand Plays Alkan and Liszt belongs to this last category, featuring cellist Emmanuelle Bertrand and pianist Pascal Amoyel in cello and piano works of two composers not at all generally associated with chamber music, Charles-Valentin Alkan and Franz Liszt.
Billy Butler is well known to guitarists only, as the co-author of the early R&B funked-up standard "Honky Tonk," with organist Bill Doggett. The two albums featured in this single disc two-fer reissue – Guitar Soul and Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, both released in 1970 – offer a wider view of the man and his music. The opening track on Guitar Soul is a cut worthy of the Meters in its New Orleans-styled second-line funk called "Blow for the Crossing." Nine and a half minutes in length, it's dark, spooky, greasy, and funky as hell. With Seldon Powell on tenor, Sonny Phillips on organ, Specs Powell on drums, and Bob Bushnell on bass, it's a jam du jour. Everybody solos, but Butler and Phillips are the pair that bend the tune all over the place like Gumby on Pokey. With an elongated melodic line played by Powell on the saxophone and punched-up by the drums, there's nothing to keep the body still in its massive groove-o-phonics. But the almighty groove wasn't Butler's only strength. With a saxophonist like Houston Person, he could play the most elegant swing – as in their read of the Rodgers & Hart classic "Dancing on the Ceiling" on the second half of the album, or as a solo guitarist he could play from the Montoya fake book as he does on "Golden Earrings," with a classical guitar.
New England is the seventh studio album by rock band Wishbone Ash. It was a success compared to the band's Locked In album, but still did not chart as high as most of their previous albums. This album would mark the "Americanization" of Wishbone Ash, as the band would relocate from England to the Northeastern United States (New England) for tax purposes. New England contained an even balance of hard rock songs and breezy, soft rock ballads, the latter of which would see further exploration from Wishbone Ash on their next studio album, Front Page News.
Either the mid-'70s or the addition of Ted Turner's replacement, Laurie Wisefield, brought about a severe identity crisis for Wishbone Ash. No longer were they the self-conscious band that evolved from their blues-based debut to their prog precursor Pilgrimage to their progressive tour de force Argus. While Wishbone Ash was still a guitar-oriented band, Locked In provided no originality and, save for a guitar refrain in "Rest in Peace," no memorable passages whatsoever. While his credentials are impressive, producer Tom Dowd was not the man for the job…
Win more games and enjoy chess more as you play and understand it better! Packed with surprise-weapons, Pirc Alert! gives you everything you need to know to defend against White's most popular way of starting the game. Alburt and Chernin explain both the winning ideas as well as the moves of the Pirc Defense, a dynamic system used by the world's chess elite.
There's the Rub is the fifth studio album by rock band Wishbone Ash. It is the first album to feature guitarist/vocalist Laurie Wisefield, who would be a major part of the band's creative direction for the next 11 years. The album is considered by many to be a highpoint of the band's recording career. The title is taken from Shakespeare's Hamlet; "To sleep—perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub." The track "F.U.B.B." caused controversy because of the acronym's meaning ("Fucked Up Beyond Belief") upon the album's release. Moreover, the haunting ballad "Persephone" would go on to become one of the band's most popular live songs…