Chingon – Mexican Spaghetti Western

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Chingon is a Mexican rock band based in Austin, Texas. Their sound is heavily influenced by mariachi, ranchera, and Texan rock ‘n roll music.
Chingon was formed by film director Robert Rodriguez to record songs for his 2003 film Once Upon a Time in Mexico. They contributed on Mexico and Mariachis, a compilation album to Rodriguez’ Mariachi Trilogy, and released their debut album, Mexican Spaghetti Western, in 2004. The band’s name comes from a Mexican slang term, chingon, loosely but closely enough meaning “badass” and/or “awesome”.
Chingon also contributed the song “Malaguena Salerosa” to Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 2 — which Rodriguez scored — and a live performance by the band was included on the film’s DVD release. They also contributed to the soundtrack for his next film, a collaboration with Tarantino, Grindhouse, doing a cover of the film’s opening theme, re-titling it “Cherry’s Dance of Death”. Rodriguez plays guitar in the band.

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Harvey Mandel – The Mercury Years

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You never forget your first love, and if you’re a musician, you hope the public never forgets your first recordings. It’s been years since Harvey Mandel’s initial titles as a frontman –1968’s Christo Redentor and ’69’s Righteous and Games Guitars Play–were available, though they’re treasured by guitar devotees. Now, they’re back, thanks to this revelatory two-disc. The trio of titles, which originally came out on the Philips label, are ambitious, mostly instrumental projects that match the future Canned Heat member and Rolling Stone session man with strings, brass, and an eclectic assortment of songs and sidemen.

 

The Graham Bond Organization – Solid Bond (1970)

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This rather odd double LP is a patchy, yet good assortment of ’60s material that Bond did not put out during that decade, and which remains unavailable on any other release. Nine of the 12 tracks date from 1966, with Bond accompanied by Dick Heckstall-Smith on sax and Jon Hiseman on drums (Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker had by this time left to join Cream). Most of those nine songs are not on the two proper albums he issued in the ’60s (The Sound of ’65 and There’s a Bond Between Us), and though a few did appear on those albums and non-LP singles, these recordings are different versions. While not up to the level of the best cuts waxed by the Bruce/Baker lineup, these Hiseman/Heckstall-Smith-backed numbers are still solid jazzy R&B with that aura of faint menace unique to Bond’s mid-’60s work. His singing is particularly effective in its drawn-out anguish on “It’s Not Goodbye” and “Springtime in the City” has those uneasy descending chord progressions and creepy R&B black-mass organ that were Bond specialties. “Neighbour Neighbour” and “Walkin’ in the Park” aren’t as good as the versions he did with Bond and Baker on the first two Graham Bond Organization LPs, but they’re different enough to merit hearing. The three remaining songs were done in 1963 with Bruce, Baker, Heckstall-Smith, and John McLaughlin, and are long, straight jazz pieces that are much different in nature. Historically they’re interesting, particularly in their documentation of the period in which McLaughlin (who solos well, though his free jazz style was a long way off in coming) was in the band. However, Bond’s outfit became much more distinguished as an R&B group than they were as an average jazz one, making the 1963 material more of a curiosity than a highlight of his discography.