Carlos Santana & Gato Barbieri play Europa

Aged 20 I went on holiday to the south of France with 4 friends and the wonderful Carlos Santana tune Europa was being played on jukeboxes everywhere we went – It was from the album Amigos the seventh studio album by Santana released in 1976. Indeed, we played it so often in the bar we frequented during that holiday that we were asked to play some other tracks.

Some years later I came across the Argentinian jazz saxophone player Gato Barbieri via his 1976 album Caliente and was immediately taken with his rendition of Europa so imagine how great it was to find them playing this fine tune together! Here’s a couple of links to YouTube so you can delight in it too:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-txBekIo-5o

www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4Mrp6wuSwk

Now what about the origins of Europa? It seems they are unclear or even possibly disputed as this link to Wikipedia notes:-

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_(Earth%27s_Cry_Heaven%27s_Smile)

I would add that Barbieri’s Caliente album is superb all the way through, one of those rare albums that does not have a duff track on it at all. There’s a great rendition of Marvin Gaye’s ‘I want you’ on it. The only other album that comes to mind which is superb all the way through is Isaac Hayes’ To Be Continued.

Oh and one final thought on Europa – It would be a great tune for the Snake Davis Band to play.

Bootle Oriel Road Station – Then and Now

This short video is interesting as it shows the station in earlier days when freight trains regularly travelled through it plus steam hauled passenger trains to and from Southport as well.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ5VxpwzBfc

But look at it now, you would not believe it to be the same station as the one in the video:-

Merseyrail – A cab ride from Hunts Cross to Southport

A Liverpool bound 507 EMU approaching the Crescent Road level crossing in Birkdale, Southport.

This Merseyrail cab ride from Liverpool (Hunts Cross) to Southport (shot on a rainy day) was filmed in 1990. It will of course be of interest to rail enthusiasts but also to those with an eye towards local history. It may only be 19 years ago but things change all the time. Enjoy via the link below:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mx1ATImcuE&feature=player_embedded

Hall Road Station

Have yourself a merry little Christmas from Sefton Focus

I’ve always been a fan of soul and smooth jazz music but not particularly of Christmas music, until that is I heard Luther Vandross sing this:-

m.youtube.com/watch?v=8hzN3Xrv47M&list=PLCF884C1EDFAB8019&t=0s&index=6

What a voice!

Note:- The lead photo is of Maghull Square Shopping Centre – Christmas 2009

Runcorn/Widnes – The Ethelfleda Railway Bridge pedestrian footpath

Here’s a fascinating bit of Liverpool City Region railway history which I have only just caught up with – The story and write-up is from ‘Old Liverpool Railways‘ and can be accessed on YouTube via the link below:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMtl3HCSHw0

Click on the photo (which is also amongst my Flickr shots at:- www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/) to enlarge it.